The Montessori system came into our lives not so long ago. However, the root of the idea itself is not so new. Learning with interesting materials and a positive attitude of educators are the basis of education according to the Montessori principle. There are more and more such kindergartens around the world today. Still, we wondered why this system provokes such contradictory views from some parents and pediatricians? Therefore, we will try to clarify this education system a bit and point out to you the advantages and disadvantages of Montessori education.
The Origin And Essence Of The Montessori Education Program
As we already said – the Montessori program of education is not as new as we may think. It dates from 1907 and was founded by Maria Montessori an Italian pediatrician. This educational program emphasizes the significance and connection between all living beings – but also the need for each and every person to find their role, meaning, and goal of existence in life. This educational program encourages a sense of independence in children. Therefore teachers and educators have the approach of asking children if they want to try to solve a certain task. They also ask them whether they need help with the things they do, or if they think they are not ready for it. Encouraging kids to think and conclude from the earliest period – this educational and upbringing program differs greatly from everything we know or we are used to.
Montessori Pedagogy: Differences In Approach
Montessori pedagogy believes that a child has an absorbing mind from birth to the age of six. This ingenious ability to mentally absorb, allows children to learn better. They can learn their mother tongue or foreign languages, have perfect body movements, or adopt certain rules. Another important thing that Maria Montessori noticed – is that children go through certain sensitive periods of life in their personality development. These periods in a child’s life are when the child, with a certain stimulus from the environment, has acquired new knowledge or new skills. That is something that we can notice in all children at approximately the same age. The essence is that these periods are the ideal time for the development of a certain skill – or the acquisition of certain knowledge in a child.
Moreover, with the time and the realization of the importance of this type of education – appeared on the market and furniture for children that are adapted to their needs at a certain age, and fully corresponds to the Montessori program. According to the Katanabana, various tables, chairs, with climbers and a standing area – will help your child take the initiative while working with you in the kitchen, or involve him in some other joint activity.
No Comparison And Competition Development
Teaching in the Montessori method did not allow comparison of children or competitive feelings. There are no generally accepted criteria for evaluation or encouragement in Montessori pedagogy. There are no methods of education such as ban, forcing, or punishment. Under the supervision of a teacher – every child wants to become an adult quickly. This is achieved by the tutor himself – by giving the child the right to be independent. The educator usually has the role of an observer – but he will help the child when needed. Giving freedom to a child leads to the rapid development of self-confidence and independence.
Considering the rhythm of teaching in this program – it is determined in a way that it is as effective as possible for children. We can even say that children determine how much time is needed for play, what material to use for training, etc. Moreover, according to their interests, it is the kids who change the environment. And most importantly – the child independently chooses the direction in which he or she wants to develop.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Such Education
Although Maria Montessori’s pedagogy is recognized as one of the best in the world – many still do not support her ideas. Parents need to carefully examine the pros and cons of such an educational program.
- Children develop independently, without the interference and pressure of adults.
- They discover the world with the help of their own experience.
- Everyone can have an individual rate of development.
- Children learn to respect the personal space of others in their environment.
- There is no negative, violent, or critical attitude towards students.
- Emphasis is placed on mental and emotional development.
- Different age groups are formed taking into account the interests of children.
- Such an approach helps the growth of an independent personality.
- Children learn to make their own decisions from an early age.
- They learn to take care of others by helping younger children in the group.
- The skill of interaction in society is developed and self-discipline is cultivated.
The disadvantages of the Montessori system are lower, but for some parents, they are essential when choosing an education method. The lessons of this approach to education are:
- Insufficient attention is paid to the development of imagination, creativity, communication skills.
- For preschool children, play is the main activity, but the Montessori system believes that toys do not provide the child with benefits for practical life.
- Children raised by the Montessori method sometimes find it difficult to adapt to the discipline of a traditional school.
- The system does not offer physical exercises – so children lack motor activity.
How Does Montessori Education Work?
The Montessori program covers all stages of a child’s development: physical, spiritual, social, cognitive, and spiritual.
Social, emotional, and spiritual development
According to this program, the groups in the kindergarten are heterogeneous, which means that there are at least three children of different ages in the group – so that younger children can learn from older children. Feelings develop when older children help younger ones and when older children learn to be patient with younger children. Caring for oneself, caring for others – and caring for the environment are the main foundations of this program.
Physical and mobile development
Freedom of movement in the early years and months of life allows children to control their body in a certain space. The conditions in which children stay and the way they work with them include taking care of themselves and others, pouring liquids from one glass to another, washing dishes, preparing food, etc. Children identify and classify the information that they get from their environment through their feelings – and thus sharpen their feelings even better and even more strongly. With the help of sight, hearing, smell, and taste – they discover the importance of real materials and thus classify them to which group they belong.
In the preschool period, the child’s brain is ready to learn a lot, but it also gets tired quickly. Maria Montessori warned parents that this is a period when children are sensitive to language and speech. Then you should read a lot of stories, fairy tales, songs to the children, and encourage them to talk to others.