"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say- the children are now working as if I did not exist.” - Maria Montessori
Not many parents would be aware of the Montessori Method. Montessori classrooms can surprise many parents as the children here would do their work quietly, moving around the room for a purpose and cleaning up themselves. Parents should be aware of the fact that the children have a very low attention span which means the tasks they perform in a Montessori classroom is quite next to impossible compared to the children of their age in a normal environment. “Then how does this classroom work?” would be the query put forward by most of them. The method functions on the simple and basic fundamental of nurturing the children’s curiosity and considering them as individuals rather than toddlers. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician and an educator, developed this method by her keen observations. It operates on the 3 fundamental elements: Absorbent Mind, Sensitive Periods and Human Tendencies. Montessori implemented a number of practices that became hallmarks of her educational philosophy and method. Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.
Montessori classes place children in three-year age groups (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and so on), forming communities in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones. Montessori represents an entirely different approach to education. Recollect the famous video on YouTube, wherein a toddler of hardly 18 months showing his mother that he could swim in a bath tub. He is truly excited that his mother is appreciating him. He is happy about his self-mastery and the resultant appreciation. His realization is what we nurture.
The series of developments are from:
- Birth to Six: Sensory learning is developed by absorbing the world around
- Six to Twelve: Conceptual/ Theoretical Learning by exploring the world around
- Twelve to Fifteen: Humanistic Learning by understanding their place in the world and how to contribute to it
- Montessori believes in presenting a good human being who is educated rather than just a qualified individual