The Montessori approach is an innovative and imaginative education model driven by the core idea of developing children’s thought processes. While the tradition educational strategy depends on taking after the prearranged education plan with a predefined set of instructions, the Montessori logic concentrates on encouraging children’s innate inclination to explore and communicate with the world. Children’s natural capacities are unlocked in a specially designed environment, where kids can choose from a number of activities to explore their full potential.
The Montessori learning system is a self-coordinated and directed process, in which each child is dealt uniquely. The role of an instructor in the Montessori classroom is supportive and empowering as opposed to definitive and authoritative. Skillful instructors guide preschoolers, as they work with materials or take an interest in learning exercises. Together with children, instructors get to be adventurers, creators and writers, as they get involved in practical exercises, science, dialects and cultural studies. The flawlessly crafted environment and the role of an instructor are key aspects that help in distinguishing the Montessori preschool from mainstream (traditional) schools.
Principles of Montessori
The Montessori instruction approach is being effectively utilized in preschools and primary schools in nearly every country of the world. Its principles are relevant and significant for all preschool kids regardless of their capabilities and unique needs. In this regard, five basic principles accurately represent how Montessori educators implement the Montessori Method in different types of programs across the United States. These principles include:
- Freedom & Respect For the Win – Humans are naturally designed to be unique, with a specific skill set, capacities and interests. The sad reality is that majority of people force children to follow generalized instructions without any regard for the uniqueness of circumstance and individual needs. Think of the mainstream education systems as an imposition of a standardized set of rules, which in humanitarian terms is overbearing and cruel. After its implementation, we expect our children to be well-behaved and submissive, knowing about their instinct of imitation and the tendency to disregard any admiration. Moreover, studies have shown that children are wrongly believed to be innately unruly. Contrary to popular belief, children’s self-discipline comes from the freedom to explore. Here is an interesting fact: In Montessori classrooms, children act independently and work with the materials or supplies that appeal to them with as much time as they want without any prerequisite of getting along with other kids. Preschoolers, who study in a Montessori System, are free to walk across the length of a classroom and interact with their peers when they need to share any creative idea or give a suggestion.
- The impact of Sensitive Periods on Absorbent Minds – First of all, it is important to mention what a sensitive period is. Experts at Milton Montessori describe it as a time frame in which children are allowed to explore or engage in a new activity, and consequently, learn new skills. As a result of these activities, children learn how to speak, walk, run, identify, use hands to perform actions, and express thoughts and draw conclusions. You might be wondering how does a teacher fit in this picture? The teacher’s primary role is to identify a sensitive period and ensures that children use it effectively by engaging them in more productive activities.
- Learning is the personification of hands-on skills – Children are sheltered and innocent and thus the best practice is to help kids make sense of the world by involving them in practical activities. It is a universal fact that children will imitate activities that they have observed. Therefore, experts remark that the goal of Montessori education is to show how to perform different tasks so that children develop their way of adapting and implementing the performed activities.
- Appropriate Environment for Appropriate Skills – In a traditional school setting, children are grouped by age. On the contrary, Montessori sessions are held in multi-age groups to diversify and increase the learning experience. The system is designed to promote a mutually beneficial environment, where older children teach younger ones and thus imparting the knowledge and reinforcing the educational concepts.
- The beauty of Intrinsic Joy and Self-Education – Many experts remark that children learn through reward and argue that award based learning experiences make a long lasting impression on children’s psyche. Likewise, in the Montessori classroom, teacher’ appreciate and encourage children’s participation. Additionally, they implicitly
motivate children to value their achievements. Thus, promoting the concept of intrinsic joy from achieving something.