Education : Montessori System

Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori and characterised by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.

Maria Montessori began to develop her philosophy and methods in 1897, attending courses in pedagogy at the University of Rome and reading the educational theory of the previous two hundred years. In 1907, she opened her first classroom in Rome. From the beginning, Montessori based her work on her observations of children and experimentation with the environment, materials, and lessons available to them. She frequently referred to her work as "scientific pedagogy". Montessori education spread to the United States in 1911 and became widely known in education and popular publications.

Education and peace

As Montessori developed her theory and practice, she came to believe that education had a role to play in the development of world peace. She felt that children allowed to develop according to their inner laws of development would give rise to a more peaceful and enduring civilization. From the 1930s to the end of her life, she gave a number of lectures and addresses on the subject, saying in 1936,

Preventing conflicts is the work of politics; establishing peace is the work of education.

She received a total of six nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize in a three-year period: 1949, 1950, and 1951.

What is the Montessori Method of Education

This system of education is both a philosophy of child development and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on two important developmental needs of children:

•   The need for freedom within limits
•   A carefully prepared environment, which guarantees exposure to materials and experiences.
 
Through these developmental needs, the child develops intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. The Montessori method of education is designed to take full advantage of the children’s desire to learn and their unique ability to develop their own capabilities.

The Montessori approach is focused on giving support to the natural development of the human being. This is done with the understanding that a fully developed human being is then better disposed to learning the things that makes him bo become an integrated and contributing member of the society.

Montessori education begins with the understanding that the role of the adult is to help the unfolding of the child’s inborn developmental powers. The child, from the earliest moments of life, is possessed with great constructive energies that guide the formation of his mind and the coordination of his body. The Montessori approach was developed without preconceived ideas as to how best to aid the child in his journey to adulthood. Instead the ideas were based on the observation of children from diverse culture in many countries.

Montessori school activities promote the development of a child's social skills, emotional growth and body-mind coordination as well as cognitive preparations for future intellectual activities.

The approach: Montessori programs aim to help children reach their full potential in all areas of life. Specially trained teachers, who facilitate, guide and help (but do not impose their own will), allow the child to experience the joy of learning, the time to enjoy the process, and ensure the development of self-esteem. The system simply provides the experiences from which children create their own knowledge. The child and teacher form a relationship based on trust and respect to foster self-confidence and a willingness to try new things.

 

Further reading

http://www.montessori.org/

http://www.montessori-india.org/montessori_india.php

http://www.lifepositive.com/mind/education/alternative-education/montessori-education.asp

 

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