Every truth has four corners: as a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three. Confucius

27 February 2011

Montessori Education

“When dealing with children there is greater need for observing than of probing” Maria Montessori

Hi Everyone,

Today I will give a brief account of the Montessori Method of education....

The Montessori Method was founded by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician who began her teaching career caring and advocating for children with special needs in the late ninteenth century. After several years she moved onto teaching a group of impoverished children in the outskirts of Rome. The academic results of these children during her time with them brought her much attention, to which she replied:

Supposing I said there was a planet without schools or teachers, study was unknown, and yet the inhabitants - doing nothing but living and walking about - came to know all things, to carry in their minds the whole of learning...... It is the child's way of learning. This is the path he follows. He learns everything without knowing he is learning it, and in doing so passes little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love.

(Maria Montessori sourced from http://www.michaelolaf.net/maria.html)

My interpretation of this quote is that Maria Montessori believed that experiencing life is the way to learn, without an effort to remember things children naturally acquire mastery of skills. A lot of Montessori materials are experiential (often manipulatives) and would possibly suit most learning styles.
There is a reverence for the experience of learning with the Montessori method as children are given the opportunity for up to three hours of uninterrupted work in a subject cycle. Academic results for children who have used the Montessori Method are said to be impressive, but this is hard to prove as many children are exposed to a variety of educational models throughout their academic learning years, and other factors need to be taken into account.

Personally I have never used the Montessori Method with my children, although maybe we can look at incorporating some into our Eclectic Mix after doing some research for this post.....

Talk Soon, Cynthia x

Some Montessori Resources: