Toddler – Matric
CELEBRATING 20 YEARS 1997-2017
PRINCIPLES OF MONTESSORI EDUCATION
Maria Montessori believed that children learn by modeling the same behaviour as adults. She said that grown-ups should treat others with respect so that children will learn to be respectful themselves. Children have Absorbent Minds whereby they educate themselves. They learn by working with their hands which feeds information to their brains. This knowledge is permanent, and becomes part of who they are for the rest of their lives. Each child has “Sensitive Periods” (Maria Montessori) for learning which means that as they develop, there comes a time when they are particularly responsive to certain stimuli and respond quickly to absorbing a new task or concept such as a native language or writing.
“The sequence and timing varies for each child.”
The role of the teacher is to observe and determine when these sensitivities arise and teach the child how to do the task they are so interested in learning. “Maria Montessori believed that children learn best in a prepared environment, a place in which children can do things for themselves.” The furniture in the classroom is child sized. Children choose what they want to work with and return the activity to its proper place when they are finished. As children walk freely from one task to the next, in the prepared environment, they have freedom to move and learn at their own pace. Maria Montessori called this auto education. It means in essence that children educate themselves. Teachers are role models. They introduce children to the materials in the environment, demonstrate how to use them and then support children’s learning along the way until the child has mastered a concept independently.
Success for a Montessori teacher is this:
“The children are now working as if I did not exist.” – Maria Montessori
Scholar applications for 2018 close 30 November. Visit www.knysnamontessori.co.za and enrol today!
Article by Beverley Brownson, Head of Preschool, Knysna Montessori Preschool