The Montessori pedagogy, designed by Dr. Maria Montessori over 100 years ago, is the most widespread global pedagogy. There are over 22,000 Montessori in the world. The central idea is the absolute belief that the child can better develop their skills and values when the social environment in which they develop is suitable for learning.
The Montessori method sees human development as a process. Seeks the development of personality. Focuses on the whole child: on the development of the “whole child”, emotionally, physically, socially and academically.
Dr. Montessori believed that no human being can be educated by someone else. Each individual has to do things for themselves in order to learn. Children are motivated from within by a natural curiosity. The goal of education should not be to to fill the child with selected academic data, but to cultivate their natural desire to learn. The use of materials is based on the child’s desire to learn and what Maria Montessori identified as “the absorbent mind”.
We believe that children best develop in educational environments that respect them as individuals. The Montessori pedagogy is based on a deep respect for the personality. Children work on their free choice. We firmly believe in the potential and possibilities of each child and we are committed to defend and promote them.
A prepared environment suited to the needs of children and their development with Montessori materials and furniture suitable for their age; it is a physical and psychological space scientifically designed to provide the child with opportunities to learn through personal experiences.
In Montessori spaces are spacious and bright. They include flowers and plants in an absolute order. The environments are designed to stimulate the desire for knowledge and independence in children. In addition, children can exchange ideas and experiences in the midst of an environment specially prepared for them, with furniture, materials and infrastructure at its disposal.
Characteristics of the Materials
- All materials have a purpose for activity.
- Isolate the qualities we want to highlight.
- Some, such as sensory materials and mathematics, are graded.
- They have control of error.
- They have a maximum and a minimum and have opposite.
- They are limited: There is a material of each.
- They help the child understand what they learn, by associating abstract concepts with a specific sensory experience, and is actually learning and not just memorizing.
It is considered the most important part, helps children develop coordination, concentration, independence, order and discipline. It covers exercises for social relationship, tolerance and courtesy, perfect control and refinement of movement.
It refers to the development and refinement of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. The purpose of the exercises is to educate the senses, so the child can learn about the environment, and be able to discriminate its subtler aspects.
The first step toward reading and writing is sensory. Children use your index finger to know each letter sensuously through the use of letters outlined with sandpaper. This helps them to recognize geometric shapes, while developing their skills and learn the letters phonetically. The finger is then replaced by a pencil to later write.
Learning reading and writing is accomplished by the child naturally. To come together and exchange experiences with older partners who already read and write, encourages the child his desire to do so. According to the skills and interests of their age, an atmosphere that favors their development it will be created.
Again the introduction to numbers and mathematics is sensory. The child learns to associate numbers to quantities, gradually moving to more abstract forms of representation. Early education in this sense, helps the child to lay the groundwork for reading and learning of mathematics. The activities developed with sensory materials make the child pass “from concrete to abstract” and help to discriminate sizes, colors, shapes, weight, etc.
A trained adult guide who knows the child, respects and follows through his experience Dr. Montessori always referred to teachers as “guides” and their role differs considerably from that of the traditional teacher. She first of all has to be a great observer of individual interests and needs of each child.
Our way of ensuring established standards of Montessori is to consider that all our guides are AMI certified. The Montessori training for Montessori qualified guide through the AMI (Association Montessori International), is performed through a program of rigorous training where the characteristics of child development and their needs are studied. The curriculum and materials associated with different age groups and complementary skills respect and support the development of children’s autonomy. Besides the constant self-observation and self-awareness of the guide.
Features of the Guide
- Knowledge of each of the intellectual, physical and psychological development period in every child’s needs.
- Ability to guide the child in the classroom to the material or activity that is required to achieve a harmonious development and appropriate to their age.
- Must know and properly manage the use and objectives of each material found in space.
- Indicate clearly and accurately the use of objects and materials.
- Be active when putting the child in contact with the material first and passive when this contact has already been given.
- Should keep always clean and orderly environment.
- Attend and listen to where he/she is called and respect the work and errors of those who work.
- Must awaken the child’s independence and imagination during its development.
- Must generate self-discipline, kindness and courtesy.
- Guide the child so that he learns to observe, to question and explore their ideas independently, motivating their interest in culture and science
The child: all his life Dr. Montessori devoted herself to meet the child. She saw that all children go through the same stages of development, regardless of their culture.
Characteristics of evaluation:
Evaluation in Montessori philosophy is a system of records of information, among which we find: diagnosis, evaluation, data, measurements, reports of professional conduct, reports and opinions of parents, who provide us with a complete history of each student.
Each student is evaluated by all teachers, by teachers of special classes, by the director and specialists working with him.
Each evaluator performs this work particularly in writing, then all views, comments and approaches are combined, analyzed and findings are exchanged, they are enriched and the result gives a profile “Customized” ( because each person is made, where everyone has their space and particular attention) and “personalist” (because it will strengthen oriented attributes of each student).
Continuity, repetition, order and the perfect completion of the work, tracking even the smallest detail, the reverential respect for the child, the close connection with the family reality and attention to considerations of parents and mothers; all this allows each guide achieve stability in the attitudes of students in the learning process.
The environments are scientifically designed to promote the development of the child’s mind and awaken in him the normal characteristics of his childhood love of order, love of work, spontaneous and deep concentration, attachment to reality, love of silence, ability to work alone, overcoming possessiveness, joyful obedience, independence, initiative, ability to cooperate and help each other, self-discipline and joy.
The atmosphere is prepared for an effective therapeutic monitoring that takes the child to the standardization of their behaviors, allowing them to develop their potential and their unique ability to creativity.
Some features of Montessori Pedagogy:
Individual stimulation: The most notable difference between a traditional school and a Montessori school is that students move at their own pace. Instead of participating in a class or activity directed by the teacher, where all students perform the same tasks for each student works on lessons that are precisely tailored to your skill level and autonomous choice.
Mixed age groups: Children make a model for other children, this improves learning, social and emotional development. Older students often naturally take leadership roles and help establish the work environment. Younger students also find a way to drive, either through its growing knowledge in a certain area, a special, or its own unique set of social skills talent.
Concentration: The child who knows the state of concentration, peace, tranquility, looks forward to finding again that state. The child is free to choose the material depending on the interest and concentration achieved through movement, through the action. This philosophy is evident in the way students are treated. If a child is distracted or having trouble concentrating, the guide does not rebuke them. Instead, she tries to rekindle their interest, determine what it is confusing, or helps them find another work that is more attractive. Students are also given a lot of responsibility to keep the classroom, planning meals and snacks, and work through problems as they arise.
In Montessori environments is encouraged:
- Autonomy and Independence
- Self esteem
- Self-control and self-discipline
- An environment without competition: In the Montessori classroom there is no competition because children work individually with the materials. Each child makes an activity related to their own work and not that of others.
“Never allow the child to risk failure until he has a reasonable chance to succeed.”