THE PURPOSE OF MONTESSORI EDUCATION
Dr. Montessori believed that no human being can be educated by another person. He/she must do it himself or it will never be done. Dr. Montessori felt that the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate his own natural desire to learn.
In the Montessori classroom, this objective is approached in two ways. The first is allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by their own choice rather than by being forced. The second is by helping them to perfect all their natural tools for learning, so that his/her ability will be at a maximum in future learning situations.
“Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole,
which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future.”
-Dr. Maria Montessori
WHO WAS MARIA MONTESSORI?
Maria Montessori was born in Chiaraville, Italy, on August 31, 1870. She graduated from medical school in 1896 and went on to become one of the first female physicians in Italy. On January 6th, 1907, Maria Montessori founded the first Casa Dei Bambini, or “Children’s House,” and began developing the Montessori method of education.
The Montessori method is based on Maria Montessori’s scientific observations of children at Casa Dei Bambini. Specially designed materials and furniture were created to aid the child in her or her natural discovery of the world around them.
Maria Montessori believed that children teach themselves through tireless manipulation of materials and absorb information constantly. This motivated her lifelong pursuit of educational reform, teaching, and educator training. She was dedicated to the self-creating process of the child.
MONTESSORI METHOD VS. TRADITIONAL METHOD
|Teacher has an unobtrusive role in classroom, acting as a guide in the learning process||Teacher is center of classroom as, acting as the leader in the learning process|
|Environment and method encourage self-discipline||Teacher is primary source of discipline|
|Mainly individual instruction||Group and individual instruction|
|Mixed age grouping. simulating a family-like environment||
Same age grouping
|Grouping encourages children to teach and help each other||Most teaching is done by teacher|
|Child chooses own work that has been specially prepared for him/her||Curriculum is structured for the child|
|Child discovers own concepts from self teaching materials, often after a lesson has been presented||
Child is guided to concepts by the teacher
|Child works as long as he wishes on chosen project||
Child is generally allotted specific time for work
|Child sets own learning pace||Instructional pace is usually set by group norm|
|Child spots own errors from feedback of materials, which have a control of error and allow for self-correction||If work is corrected, errors are usually pointed out by the teacher|
|Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success||internal feelings of success
Learning is reinforced externally by repetition and rewards
|Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration||Fewer materials for sensory development|
|Organized program for learning care of self and environment||Less emphasis on self-care instruction|
|Child can work where he chooses, move around and talk atwill (yet not disturb the work of others); group work is voluntary||Child is usually assigned his/her own chair; encouraged to participate, sit still and listen during group sessions|
|Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process||Voluntary parent involvement|