The three characteristics of the Montessori Method are the specially built setting, the specially prepared equipment and the specially trained instructor. The Montessori teachers teach that even one of them is absent from the group cannot be called Montessori. Thus, often these three characteristics are called the three limbs or the three agents of the Montessori process.
Montessori claimed that the assistance given to the child had to be indirect. The teacher should make it possible for the child to support himself. The three agents will provide assistance as subtly as possible without the child knowing that they have been assisted.
Montessori has recognized a new relationship between human beings and the environment. Human beings have a different interaction with their surroundings relative to other species. Montessori found that while the instincts of the animals were awakened at the moment they came to this world, the human being who did not have many instincts internalizes the environment. While the animals are conditioned by the environment around them, the human being converts the environment to suit his needs. As a result, human beings do not have a natural world. He continues to adapt his environment according to his changing needs. Montessori (1986:31-32) declares the human being "Supra-natured." To know about any animal a biologist is entering its natural environment. Humans do not have a natural environment to study a child. It is therefore necessary to establish an atmosphere in which the child follows his will. That is the purpose of the Montessori environment.
The Montessori environment is the first agent to do so. It is a specially designed environment, with the least intervention and most indirect agent. Whenever any support needs to be provided without interceding, the system may be used by making any improvements to the system. If the setting could not be used or was unable to provide help, specially designed equipment would be used. In the event that they are unable to offer assistance, the teacher will provide assistance but in a non-intrusive manner. For three reasons, the specially generated atmosphere is important. First, the infant, at the first stage of development, with the absorbent mind, absorbs the world and incarnates it for its development.
The absorbent mind absorbs everything and does not distinguish right or wrong, good or bad. It is therefore essential to provide a favorable environment for the child to absorb, which the child may not find at home. Second, the home setting is built for people, taking into account the needs of people. The material in it is not physically or mentally proportionate to the child (Standing 1998:267). The Montessori classroom is specially designed to maintain the child`s needs with materials that are not only physically proportionate but also mentally proportionate, which means that the child can understand its purpose as soon as he or she looks at them. Third, the home environment will not stimulate the infant, or the stimulation received will be unduly high. The four Montessori classrooms are not just a physical room with materials, a teacher, but also a horizontal group of children in three age groups. Children from 3 to 6 years of age live in one classroom. Admissions to Montessori School are not given once a year, but throughout the year. At any given time, children may be younger and older than a specific child. For younger children, they become big brothers and show the right way to act and use materials and follow older children with warm camaraderie.
The equipment is specially prepared as it is not purchased from local shops. Others are carefully prepared by the instructor and others are made in a manufacturing business. The specification for these materials was borrowed from Itard, Seguin, experimental psychologists, and some were developed by Maria Montessori herself at the Orthophrenic School and while working at the Children`s House (Joosten&Shivaramakrishnan 2013:37). Montessori surpasses the limited aim of teaching aids that are intended simply to "teach" or "learn" and calls the Montessori devices "means of development" because they are the "means" by which children grow. Children intend to "live" and "develop" rather than merely learn by means of their apparatus (Joosten 2013:39). This equipment is not as indirect as the environment, as it allows the instructor to demonstrate their use to the children.
Montessori not only discovered normalized children, but also became a "new teacher." She even invented a new name for her, "directress," meaning the one who directs children`s energy (Standing 1998:297). It is the director who puts the spirit in a lifeless environment, and the equipment makes the entire classroom lively. The manager, along with the technical training, is undergoing spiritual training. Technical training allows the director to plan the Montessori equipment, to use it in the correct way, to plan the atmosphere and so on. Spiritual training allows the director spiritually to love the infant, to be compassionate, to cultivate modesty, grace and patience. Non-intervention is a very important aspect of Montessori teacher training. When a child makes a mistake in a regular school, the teacher is expected to intervene and stop the child immediately. Montessori, on the other hand, is trained to be non-interventional and intervene only if there is a danger to the child or to other children (Standing 1998: 311-313). The teacher is a direct agent of Montessori education, and Montessori cautioned that any overt support would decrease the child`s self-esteem. The Director therefore provides assistance only when the child requests or needs aid, in a respectful way, as implicitly as possible.
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Maria Montessori believed that concentration was an essential ingredient in the building of personality. The best way to improve focus among children is by working with their hands (Lillard A. 2017: 20). To work with hands, the required materials were needed for activities and activities. The Montessori classrooms therefore have several types of materials. The materials in the Montessori classroom are not only individual items on the shelves, but rather a collection of items that lend themselves to activities. Growing behavior has a objective, which is focused on the child`s past accomplishments, current needs and possible conquests. Interestingly, what activity has an error monitor, i.e. how does the material look if the task is performed correctly, or what will be the end of the operation. Many features of developmental activities are that they must be explained (presented) to the infant, once the demonstration is delivered to the right infant in the right way, at the right time the child performs the activity many times (Munireddy 2016). Developmental exercises such as Experience of Life, Tactile Experiences, Language Games, Math Exercises and other cultural activities such as Geography, Botany and Zoology are included in the Montessori classroom.
These are the tasks that we carry out in our day-to-day life in order to create, sustain and restore those conditions in our climate. For mopping, sweeping, washing, cleaning pots, peeling, grinding and cutting vegetables, rolling chapatis, pouring water and so on. Young children have an overwhelming draw to these events. Children are engrossed in these activities when conducting these tasks. This complete involvement contributes to concentration. Concentration leads to normalization and, if there are any troubling habits present in adolescents, they slowly disappear (Lillard A. 2017:50). In the meantime, his determination and intellect grow as he exercises more control over movements. Therefore, Practical Life Activities bring together the physical and intellectual abilities of children (Lillard A. 2017:50) (Standing E. 1998:170).
The Realistic Life Exercises are not miniature, they believe play products. Ex: the knife is a real knife with edges as sharp as any regular adult kitchen knife. They are real workable materials that are proportional to the size of the baby. They`re functional, there`s no room for rubber or blunt knives, rubber hammers, and so on. Glass is a part of the classroom, too. Montessori believes that its very brittleness helps children appreciate and handle delicate things.
Unlike Realistic Life Exercises, Sensorial Activities are machine-made. They`re both science and reliable. Sensorial materials include Cylinder Blocks, Pink Tower, Brown Stairs, Red / Long Stairs, Color Tablets, Sound Boxes, Geometric Cabinets, Geometric Form Cards, Drawing Insets, Geometric Solids and so on. (133-171) (Montessori, 2006). They are only available in single sets. There might be a situation where a child wants to work with a sensory material, and that material is not available. In that situation, either he / she had to wait for the material to come back or he / she had to choose another material. It`s not an easy choice for him / her. Working with Practical Life Exercises strengthens his / her willpower, and the child is now ready to wait for either of them.
It is possible that children could be allowed to do whatever they want to do with these materials. Unlike the Practical Life Exercises, children are not familiar with these materials, and they could push and pull for some time and then start throwing them all around. Hurlock points out that trial error is not an appropriate way to learn (Hurlock E. B., Child Growth and Development 1978). Teachers present how to use the materials correctly in order to bring about the desired development. A variety of tasks are possible with Sensorial Tasks – Pairing, Grading, Sorting, Variations, and so on. Pairing is to be found identical among many; grading is to organize the materials according to the maximum similarity ex: from dark blue to light colour, sorting is to be matched repeatedly and to separate a group of items. Ex: Heavy tablets are separated from light tablets (Joosten&Sivaramakrishnan 2013:43-45).
A variety of Language Activities are provided in small groups of four or five children. Language is absorbed, not taught. The child will speak his mother tongue for two years. Without his understanding, he made this conquest. Around three years later, when he returns to the Montessori children`s building, he needs to become aware of the language he has learned. The aim of language activities is therefore to help the child enjoy and appreciate the conquest he has made in the field of language; to help him understand that his spoken language is made up of sounds; to help him express himself graphically (writing); and to read what others have written graphically (Joosten&Sivaramakrishnan, 2013:53-55).
Activities and tools in Language Activities include Object Box, Sand Paper Signs, Moveable Alphabet, Image Set, Sentence Box, Reading Cards, Matching Cards, and so on. There are also a variety of teacher-directed community events.
Montessori has a different and unique approach to literacy. It does not claim that children should not be taught to read and write for up to 7 years as in Waldorf schools or required to write for 3 years as in conventional schools. Maria Montessori has taken the middle path. Regular schools begin reading and writing without considering the child`s achievement in spoken language. Whereas, Montessori goes to the fundamentals of language – how a child learns language, how a human language evolves. Montessori indicates that language is not taught, but learned. When a child comes to school, he already has a language — his mother tongue. He expresses himself with whatever minimal vocabulary he has. When he comes to Montessori School, he needs to use the language actively (because the language he now has was absorbed by the unconscious mind), use it, and appreciate his achievement. As he does, he masters his ability to communicate, and he also tries to master his language. The child wants to understand that language is made up of sounds, that sounds make meaningful words and words in a sentence in particular. The child needs to know the role of each word in a sentence and the relationship between them. Eventually, the child also needs to express himself graphically, which is written, and understand what others have written graphically, which reads (Joosten&Shivaramakrishnan 2013: 53-54).
Writing letters or numbers does not begin immediately when the child comes to the Montessori Children`s House. Unlike regular school, Montessori classrooms have freedom of speech, which means that children can speak whatever they want, provided the volume is low. While writing doesn`t begin, many language activities, such as rhymes, group singing, stories, narrative, commands, and so on, start from day one.
Montessori describes writing as a visual self-expression. These rules-out all copying as non-writing. Technically, and scientifically, motors must be trained for child learning.
Engine technical training is the practice to keep the pencil. The child is prepared to keep the pencil long before holding the pencil while dealing with tools such as Cylinder Blocks and Geometric Cabinet. They`ve got knobs as big as a pencil as the child grips them, working with them for so many days, so many times that his fingers have the strength to hold a pencil. To push the pencil on the paper, the lightness of the touch is required.
The child gets this lightness of touch when working, as he moves his hands gently onto Touch Surfaces, Fabrics and Touch Tablets. The child learns the ability to make smooth movements by drawing the shapes of the Geometric Cabinet.
Engine technical training is where the child is specifically prepared to hold the pencil and to acquire the motor memory of the letters. The first time a child has a pencil as he plays with Drawing Insets. Sandpaper letters allow the child to have a physical memory of the shapes.
Intellectual Planning is a matter of speech. It`s not enough to be able to write, one needs to know what to write. If the child has no material to write any amount of technical planning, it is worthless. In the Montessori classroom, therefore, the child is always mentally trained to express himself.
Language activities such as name lessons, freedom of speech enrich the child`s vocabulary and increase his or her trust in fluent expression. His increased ability to listen to minutes of difference in sound by working with noise boxes may also encourage him to write.
The child has been encouraged to become conscious of the sounds in the spoken language because the language is made up of sounds. Each sound has a symbol that is shown as a Sand Paper letter. The child traces the Sand Paper Letter and says the sound of it. Later, the Moveable Alphabet allows the infant to listen to all the sounds of one word at a time. Still, the child will be working with the stuff, not writing. Suddenly, a child can write on a blackboard or a paper instead of making a word with the Moveable alphabet. This Montessori is called a "explosion into prose" (Joosten&Shivaramakrishnan 2013:66).
Montessori believed that even though children were interested in size and proportion, more and less, before 3 1⁄2 years, they were not interested in how much, or precisely how much, they had. It`s been about three and a half years after the children were interested in how much exactly they had. Montessori called the "Awakening of the Mathematical Mind" phenomenon. Only after that the number was presented to the child through the number rods. Number rods is a material that differs from a loose bead material. The number of rods helps the child to call various names for various rods.
Whereas the beads, they look the same, whether 2 or 3 or 10.
Another peculiarity of Montessori is that there are a variety of events for numbers from 1 to 10 and 0. After that, instead of 11, 12, ... and so on, the infant is immediately inserted into the Decimal Scheme. The introduction of the Decimal System gives the child the opportunity to experience and handle a large quantity. Thus, the child is introduced to 1, 10, 100, 1000, followed by dynamics of change, including subtraction, multiplication and division. Later, common names 11, 12, ... 99 and simple combinations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are introduced to the kid. Some children are even able to memorize some of the simple combinations.
When watching the Montessori classroom, 35 children will do 35 different items, including several children sitting quietly. The bustle of activity rises sharply and falls by the time the children have lunch. After lunch, as if they had strength, the action goes up again and comes down when it`s time to go home.
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