Thursday, October 29, 2009

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was an Italian educator who devoted her life to the education of children from six to sixteen. Her method mainly consisted in letting children work with specific materials within a rich environment that had been carefully created by the teacher. For instance, children at kindergarten would work with materials that foster the development of autonomy and organizational skills. Then at elementary school, they would work with timelines and charts in order to develop abstract reasoning abilities. Nowadays, Montessori´s ideas can be seen applied at Kindergarten when children are allowed to choose self-correcting materials to play and games that involve the psychosocial and academic functioning. For instance, doing the ironing, cooking, shopping, etc.
As a teacher to be, I would like to try the use of timelines, charts and connective narratives in order to enhance imagination and ability of abstraction in the learners. Last but not least, I would like to be a Montessori teacher in the sense of being a facilitator of learning rather than the source of all information.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Learning through real experiences

John Dewey`s contribution to education was very important. I myself experienced at least one of the activities related to his significant ideas when I was at school. Let me tell you all about it:
When I was 8 years old, we were told to carry out an experiment observing the germination and growing of seeds, keeping a record as regards the way in which seeds germinate showing a chain of changes that resulted into the development of the plant. In accordance with Dewey, this encouraged "learning by doing" through experimenting within a natural process, keeping in mind that, as the American educator himself said, experiences do not happen just because, we relate them with previous ones and this allows us to experiment.

As a teacher to be, I would like to live up to Dewey`s call to encourage students to develop creative and artistic abilities to help them reach their full potential. I think that learning through experimenting is likely to have lasting effects upon students`life.

" To "Learn from experience" is to make a backward and forward connection between what we do to things and what we enjoy or suffer from things in consequence. Under such conditions, doing becomes a trying, an experiment with the world to find out what it is like, the undergoing becomes instruction-discovery of the conection of things"