The Montessori Education Method and its benefits in child development

All of us have heard a lot about “The Montessori Education Method”. But what is it and how it is beneficial for our children? Let us explore…..!

What is Montessori Method?

Montessori’s Method of teaching is a unique and child-centered approach to early years education, derived from Dr. Maria Montessori’s practical experiences in the early 1900s. Being one of the most effective ways of teaching, it is still considered to be the best way for Early Years Educationists in the 21st century and is in high demand worldwide with a huge number of Montessori Inspired institutions or Montessori’s original “Casa Dei Bambini” or “House of Children.”

Dr. Montessori believed that children learn better and develop a self-directed approach when they’re given freedom of choice for what they want to learn and that philosophy is present in Montessori classrooms even today.; and this child-centered pedagogy created by Italian physician Dr. Maria Montessori has been revolutionizing schools all around the world for more than a century.

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Areas of Learning

Montessori curriculum design involves the following areas:

1. Language & Literacy

2. Mathematics

3. Sensorial

4. EPL (Exercises of Practical Life)

5. Culture (Science, History, Geography, Music & Arts)

6. Handwork

Last but not least, “Peace & Mindfulness” is also an essential part of Montessori education to help children become emotionally stronger and peaceful adults to benefit world peace. 

Features of the Montessori Method

There are numerous ways in which the Montessori method differs from conventional classrooms. These are the features of the Montessori teaching method.

1. Mixed-age classrooms

Mix age group is an important feature of a typical Montessori classroom. When younger pupils are having difficulty, older ones can lead and mentor them. Peer learning and working at their own speed are beneficial for the younger kids to gain confidence and empathy, fostering emotional intelligence to be better adults in the future.

2. Hands-on learning

The Montessori classroom setting is quite organized and equipped with all the materials required for different areas of learning. In a typical Montessori classroom, children have full access to the materials arranged on shelves. Having received a demo lesson called “three-period lesson”, the children can perform the activities without the interference of the directress, recognize their errors and fix them.

3. Freedom of choice

The Montessori method of study does not have a one-size-fits-all formula. Children who study in an environment that fosters their natural curiosity will feel free to explore and absorb information about their surroundings. By having freedom of choice, children can develop a sense of independence and confidence in their abilities more quickly than in a traditional school setting because most of the learning process is self-directed.

4. Age-appropriate activities

In the Montessori method, interactive lessons are offered. The small groups are led by Montessori teachers in cooperative play, which naturally encourages social interaction and fosters the development of social skills in kids.

For kids of all ages, there is a variety of supplies and furniture. Each child has access to the materials in the prepared environment, which are arranged on low shelves and are visible. The furniture, shelving, utensils, dishware, cleaning supplies, and the Montessori materials are all adjusted to the child's size.

5. Practical Life Skills (EPL)

Children have a natural curiosity about the activities they have seen their adults doing; such as cutting or peeling vegetables, washing dishes and surfaces, preparing meals, polishing or lacing up shoes, etc. By learning these real-life skills, the children can increase independence, develop a sense of discipline, and take pride in finishing a task.

 

Maria Montessori in a classroom

In a nutshell, the Montessori method is a unique way of education to attain its milestones with an effective way of teaching methodology and child-centered approach, to prepare more successful humans with better decision power, emotional intelligence, a sense of order, practical & rational approach, social & moral values to make this society and world a better and peaceful place. As Dr. Montessori said, 

"The education of even a small child does not aim at preparing them for school, but for life."

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