The Montessori Method

A Child-Centered Educational Approach

Introduction

Montessori Method is considered as the best educational method when it comes to the early development of children. The method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician who was also an educationist.

The Montessori Method

The Montessori educational method involves a child-centered approach. The method is based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. The Montessori Method has been successfully used in almost all the countries of the world for around 100 years.

The Montessori Method was developed keeping in view the concept of a child who is ready to seek knowledge and who is capable enough to start learning in an environment which is both supportive and thoroughly prepared.  The Montessori Method involves an approach which places the development of the child and human spirit in high esteem.

The Components

There are several components that are essential for a program to be recognized as truly Montessori. Among these components there are five which stand out. The successful integration of all of these five components will contribute towards an effective and smooth running of the Montessori educational system in any school. These Major components are discussed in detail below.

Quality Teachers

The first essential component of the Montessori educational system is Montessori teachers. These teachers must be properly trained and must possess the required certifications. The teachers must be able to understand the importance of the natural development of a child. A good Montessori teacher must be able to observe every single child in the classroom. Based on this observation, the teacher comes up with the learning material which is relevant for children of a particular age group. The learning material is based upon the developmental abilities and interests of a child. In a Montessori system, the teacher serves more as a guide as opposed to merely being an information provider. A good Montessori teacher is not only well versed in Montessori philosophy and theory but at the same time professional enough to know how to utilize the Montessori material accurately.

Montessori-teacher

a Montessori teacher with her students

Classrooms

The classrooms in Montessori system involve multi-age groupings. The benefit of multi-age groupings revolves around the fact that younger children get the chance to learn from the older children. The older children actually reinforce whatever they have already learned and mastered.

modern Montessori classroom

a modern Montessori classroom

Montessori Materials

The two key aspects of Montessori learning is utilization of scientifically designed materials and hands-on learning approach. The Montessori learning materials teach a single concept or skill; they also contain a built-in-mechanism which helps the students in the assessment of their progress as well as correction of mistakes without the intervention of the teacher.

Child Oriented Work

One of the major components of Montessori education system is that it allows the students to select challenging and meaningful tasks as per their interests. The child directed work in the Montessori system helps in creating curiosity among children. At the same time, it also trains them to work in uncluttered and calm spaces both individually as well as in a group.

Work Periods (Uninterrupted)

The work period in a Montessori setting is uninterrupted which means that the students are allowed to work as per their own space without any serious interruption. A student can take his time, complete a particular activity, clean up the mess, and then start another activity. However, during the activity phase, the teachers provide all the relevant support to the students. This support is usually in the form of both group as well as individual lessons. The uninterrupted work period facilities basically result in the development of independence, coordination, assimilation of information, and concentration in the students.

There are many other key components as well and if you want to know more about these Montessori components, then check this one by Wakeforest Montessori.

Benefits

There is a reason behind the fact that Montessori Method is the best.  The method offers many benefits that cannot be found in any other educational system of the world. These benefits are explained below in detail:

One of the most significant benefits of the Montessori education system is that under this system each and every child is taken individually and it is recognized that every child is blessed with a unique set of skills and comprehension level. All the students are allowed to learn as per their space; however continuous guidance by the teachers is always there.

As mentioned already the system helps in the development of concentration, order, coordination, and independence among the students. The emerging self-regulation among the students is supported by the classroom materials, routines, and designs.

The system involves a caring community where a family structure exists. The older children actually serve as mentors while the younger ones gain a feeling of support which assists them in overcoming the challenges coming ahead.

The Montessori students have complete freedom, however, this freedom is within limits. The parameters of freedom are set by the teachers. The point is that students are allowed to develop their skills in an environment which allows freedom of expression however their freedom is supported by rules and regulations.

Knowledge seeking is encouraged in the students as far as the Montessori system of education goes. An environment is provided by the teachers within which the students are free to find answers to their particular questions.

The two main aspects of Montessori Approach are self-assessment and self-correction. The students gain maturity over time and once this maturity is achieved they start to look at their work critically which ultimately helps them to learn from their errors and mistakes.

Conclusion

The Montessori Method is a recognized approach all over the world. The method is functional in almost all the regions of the world today. It is a perfect methodology when it comes to the personality development of the children. The child-centered educational approach involved in this method grooms the personality of the children in a very effective and efficient way.

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