Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952)
The Montessori Philosophy emerged from the numerous discoveries made by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and the founder of Montessori Method of Education, from her observation of children and writings on scientific pedagogy. She is highly acclaimed for her theories that are based on the central idea of freedom for the child, nurtured through the use of mind and body within a carefully planned environment.
“…realising the peculiarly absorbent nature of the child’s mind, she has prepared for him a special environment; and then placing the child within it, has given him the freedom to live in it, absorbing what he finds there.” (Maria Montessori – Her Life and Work, p. 265).
Our classrooms are prepared mindful of the unique, absorbent nature of the young child’s mind. We have trained Montessori teachers across all levels. The teacher is foremost an observer who unobtrusively yet carefully monitors each child’s development, recognizing and interpreting each child’s needs. She is a facilitator whose primary task is to support the young child in his or her process of self-development. She provides a link between the child and the prepared environment, introducing the child to each piece of equipment when he or she is ready, in a precise, clear and enticing way. The prepared environment consists of furniture that is child-sized and materials that are attractive, orderly and designed to promote auto education. Each apparatus presents one concept or idea at a time and has what is known as a “control of error”. If the child has done something incorrectly it will be self-evident. Great care is taken to create a learning environment that will reinforce the child’s independence and natural urge toward self-development achieved through beauty, order and accessibility.
How does Montessori Education Benefit the Child?
Areas covered in the Montessori Program
The Practical Life section lays the foundation for all other work to be done in the classroom. The activities are everyday tasks that a child needs to learn in order to master the care of self and the environment. Such activities include pouring, sweeping and tidying, as well as grace and courtesy. These materials provide a solid foundation for life.
The goal of the Montessori Sensorial section is to educate the child’s senses. This curriculum area contains Montessori-specific materials that help the child refine his or her experience of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. The materials of this section are modeled on scientifically-based concepts, such as metric system dimensions or algebraic formulas. These materials also include manipulatives dealing with size, colour, shape, sound, texture, form, and dimension. As well as helping the children classify concepts, the Sensorial materials provide the groundwork for the development of other skills such as music, math, and language.
Language materials include sandpaper letters teaching the sound of each letter, movable alphabet for composing words and simple sentences, many types of language card exercises, and the metal insets, which develop pencil control necessary for writing. Often our children can be observed sounding out simple words and creating their first stories. Your child develops reading skills by using encoding and decoding methods. Children learn to apply laws like the schwa rules and phonograms. Grammar will also be introduced to the children. Comprehension and composition will be learnt according to the child’s readiness.
Mathematical materials emphasize the concepts of number recognition, quantities, linear counting, the decimal system, simple fractions, and beginning lessons in the four operations. Concepts are presented in a very concrete way so that children 3-6 are able to count and work with numbers up to thousands. Children are also able to work together counting the chains, sharing out quantities, and creating large numbers with the “golden beads”. These concrete materials show the child the beginnings of what will later become abstract concepts. A firm foundation in the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division will be laid.
Science is an integral element of the Montessori curriculum. Among other things, it represents a way of life: a clear thinking approach to gathering information and problem solving. The scope of the Montessori science curriculum includes a sound introduction to botany, zoology, chemistry, physics, geology and astronomy. The Montessori approach to science cultivates children’s fascination with the universe and helps them develop a lifelong interest in observing nature and discovering more about the world in which they live. Simple science experiments will be conducted in class.
The topic of Culture integrates and emphasizes a region or population’s geography, history, music, art, etc. The children study different areas of the world, and experience concrete examples of that area’s language, literature, dress, food, artwork and music, both past and present. This increasingly important area introduces the child to our planet’s great diversity of people.
Art and Craft and Music and Movement
Music and movement education are also important parts of the curriculum as well as the Arts. They offer children ways to express themselves, their feelings, experiences and ideas. These activities will help children develop control of their fine and gross-motor movement.
Apart from the Montessori curriculum, Brainy Child Montessori also offers a range of enrichment courses as we believe that children should be widely exposed to different fields and subjects. Click here to know more about our Enrichment Programmes.