THE MONTESSORI SYSTEM
The system developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the beginning of the 20th century focusses on the individual child and his needs. According to the philosophy, the child learns best when he chooses activities on his own, works on these activities at his own pace and corrects his own mistakes. The child automatically develops concentration, appreciates repetition, makes his own discoveries and organizes his thoughts.
Montessori education is thus characterized by multi-age classrooms, a special set of educational materials, student-chosen work in long time blocks, a collaborative environment with student mentors, absence of grades and tests and individual and small group instruction in academic and social skills.....
There are five areas of learning in a typical Montessori classroom as follows:
The Practical Life exercises work on everyday life skills which enable the child gain control in the coordination of movements and to become an independent and functional member of society. Practical Life exercises are categorized four main groups: Preliminary Activities, Applied Activities, Grace and Courtesy and Control of Movement.
Sensorial exercises help to refine the five senses by detailing every quality that can be perceived by the senses such as size, shape, texture, composition, loudness or softness, weight, volume, temperature, matching and so on. The activities are grouped into eight categories: Visual, Tactile, Gustatory, Olfactory, Stregonostic, Auditory, Baric and Thermic.
In the Montessori system, Language is taught through a progression of lessons starting from developing an awareness of sounds in a words and ending where the rules and exceptions of the language are absorbed. The system breaks down the various elements of reading and writing and thus the child experiences the structure of Language in a concrete manner.
As with everything in the Montessori system, Mathematics is also introduced in a concrete fashion, through the introduction of concepts, rather than abstract numerals and symbols. The goal is not just numeration and computing, but more importance is given to to understanding and inculcating logical mathematical thinking.
This area of the Montessori classroom consists of botany, zoology, geography, history, art, music, cooking gardening, astronomy, ecology, geology and so on. It provides an opportunity for the child to experience their environment, develop respect for nature and their surroundings and build on their natural curiosity about the world around them.
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