Introduction to the Montessori Method of Education
The Montessori Method of Education is both a philosophy of child growth and rationale for guiding such growth. With the belief that a child, given the freedom to experience and experiment will be the best gauge of his/her own readiness for academic, social and physical activities. Dr. Montessori initiated a child centred personalised programme which encompasses all aspects of the child’s development. It provides the freedom for a child’s developmental needs within the limits of a carefully prepared environment. It guarantees exposure to materials and experiences through which to develop intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. The materials used in the Montessori school provide sensorial experiences that enable a child to develop a keen sense of awareness of his/her environment and thus strengthen his/her ability to cope with it. An adult may expose a child to the possibilities for life, but the child himself/herself must direct his/her own response.
The Montessori Method of Education recognises the following unique qualities of young children:
- Children are respected as different from adults, and as individuals who differ from each other.
- Young children possess unusual sensitivity and mental powers for absorbing and learning from his/her environment.
- The most important years of growth are the first six years of life when the unconscious learning is gradually brought to conscious level.
- The child has a deep love and need for purposeful work. He/she works however, not for profit and completion of a job, but for the sake of activity, which accomplishes for him/her his most important goal – the development of himself/herself.
The objectives of the Montessori Teacher are:
- To provide an environment which develops within each child a feeling of self-acceptance and esteem.
- To provide an atmosphere which promotes respect and concern far all individuals
- To provide stimulating materials and guidance in the use of those materials which will enable each child to realises his/her full potential.
- To help the child to accept the limits of life in a democratic society.
- To extend early home experiences in an environment planned through living and learning with peers.
- To provide opportunities for exploration and creativity.
- To foster basic health patterns in daily living,
- To provide an attitude of appreciation for the natural world in which we live.
- To encourage thinking skills, fair-play, self-reliance, individual freedom and responsibility.