Thursday, September 27, 2007


Montessori Method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activity on the part of the child and clinical observation on the part of the teacher, who plays the role of a guide. It stresses the importance of adapting the child's learning environment to his developmental level, and of the role of physical activity in absorbing academic concepts and practical skills; children learn through discovery, so didactic materials that are self-correcting are used as much as possible.

I have seen some of the ideas advocated by Maria Montessori regularly applied in pre-school years, when the teacher shows different materials to the students, teaches them how to manipulate them and then each child, together with these “instructions”, lets their imagination fly. I have also seen this kind of prepared environment for the children in which the size of the furniture is in accordance with the size of the children. And a couple of times I´ve experienced specific procedures related to my Chemistry classes in secondary school that helped me to understand some concepts by seeing them concretely, but they were like exceptions rather than a whole plan to integrate different topics.

As a teacher-to-be, I would like to try everything I have read about the Montessori Method, but one of the areas that has interested me the most was farming. The way in which the students get involved with elements of farming as an economic enterprise so that they can start being aware of the mechanics of society. This was really interesting for me because it has a direct connection to reality and at the same time the children can be in contact with nature, which in some cases is something unusual. I also like the way the method integrates different areas such as the arts, sciences, geography, history, and language; and the use of concrete material to represent mathematical concepts. I was also surprised to see the interest that the children showed in doing the activities and how they seemed to enjoy learning without knowing they are doing so. So I would like to be able to give them freedom to choose their work from among the self-correcting materials and be there to guide them through the process of learning without any pressure.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Teaching for freedom

In my experience, the ideas suggested by Freire are not often seen at schools today. What I mean is tha most teachers seem to work individually, without taking into account the learnes' own ideas and thougths. It seems to me that many teachers today are not really concerned about creating a will in their students to express themselves and give their opinions.
As a teacher to be, I would like to appy Freire's ideas, because I think it is very important to reduce learners' oppression; and to educate strong future adults, or already adult people who will not be ignorant anymore.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Maria Montessori

Montessori's method reminds me of my days at kindergarten. As in Montessori's schools, my classroom was arranged according to subjects (cooking, housekeeping, gardening, and a reading corner). Apart from that, we were always free to move around the room isntead of sitting at desks. And there was no limit to how long we could work on something we had chosen.
As a teacher-to-be, I think this is a good method for our educational needs. The Montessori method is philosophically and practically different from other educational methods, and also very different from my personal educational experience, but I'd like to do my best to apply it. I'd like to teach my students how to respect individual differences, and to emphasize education as a way of seing children as they really are. One of the ideas I have in mind when I remember her method is the calm of the environment where children can work with activities of their own choice. Finally, the most important thing about this method is it gives us the opportunity to help children self-construct their minds and personalities.

Contributed by Mariana Fernández

Friday, September 14, 2007

Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire was a Brazilian educator. His first years paralleled those of the great depression and he became aware of the problems of the world around him, since many of his friends lived in extreme poverty.
He believed that the role of the educator was to enable students to analyse the world around them and to see themselves as able to transform it. Freire was concerned with teaching reading and writing to illiterate adults so that they could have a voice and accept responsabilty for social change.
Freire's ideas were revolutionaire and I really like the fact that he made use of those experiences that are relevant to the student, like everyday situations, making the process of learning more likely to take place. His ideas are a great inspiration for teachers. I think that his ideas can cause revolutionary changes in people's points of view about society and about the world. I believe that he reminds us that education is not objective and that we, as teachers, can give more from ourselves than what is usually expected and make our contribution to a fairer society. Even though I have never seen Freire's ideas applied at school, I would like to put them into action if I ever have the chance.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Domingo F. Sarmiento

Domingo F. Sarmiento was an Argentinean president in the late 1800s. He travelled to different countries in Europe and to the United States studying their educational systems. His educational policies included opening non-secular, public schools for everyone as a means to create one uniform society.
For him education was the way to form prolific citizens as he believed education to be the way to improve the country’s economy. Both the government and the people were to work together to develop the country’s situation as a whole, not just its economy.
He believed that the maximum emphasis should be made in primary schools as for him children were the citizens and workers of tomorrow.
As a teacher-to-be I would like to incorporate into my lessons Sarmiento’s idea that everyone is entitled to be educated. No matter how young, old, rich or poor everyone has the right to be educated, especially as this opens doors to the improvement of their selves and their professional lives.
L@U F.S.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Maria Montessori

Having read about Maria Montessori, I know that her method is very different from the ideas applied at some Argentina´s schools. One of the reasons can be tha way the classroom is organized or the amount of students in each classroom, which sometimes makes things more difficult.

But I find that Montessori method marks similarities with Argentina kindergartens, where classes are not as structured as the ones at primary or high school.

Having looked at the photographs at Montessori sites, I remember the way children sit at kindergarten, the table at which they can interact and share different experiences. They absorb what is in the environment, where the things they learn are forever and true for them.

Another point of similarity is that parents are closer than at any other stage at school. They are really involved and volunteers of any situation. The Montessori method recognizes parents as a child´s first and most influencial teachers so that teacher and parents join together to facilitate the education of the learners.

As a teacher-to-be, I find this method especially interesting. I think it will be enjoyable for the learners and for me too, because they learn through personal experiences and concrete situations. In this way, it is easier to acquire knowledge because they do not know they are learning but they are enjoying coming to school and being part of it.

Maria Montessori said:
"We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for
himself; this is the art for those who aspire to serve the spirit."

As a teacher -to-be this is one of the ideas I want to keep in mind when teaching a learner.