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.

No comments: