Montessori courses for kids
The Montessori method is quite well known having been around since 1907 when it was founded by pediatrician and psychiatrist Maria Montessori. Its principles were developed over many years of experimentation and observation, and core components include
- Respect for the child. Inherent in this tenet is a belief that children have freedom to choose their activities, move from one activity to the next at their own pace, and correct their own mistakes.
- The ultimate goal being independence of the child. A Montessori classroom provides the environment and materials, and then guides the child to learn and think for themselves.
- A belief that the first 6 years of a child’s life is crucial given their absorbent mind or sponge-like ability to absorb information from their environment.
- Recognition that children pass through sensitive periods which are windows of opportunity for learning when a child through focus, repetition and concentration have heightened absorption.
- Intrinsic motivation which means a child should derive a sense of accomplishment from learning to do an activity for themselves and not to receive a gold star
- Education of the whole child covers physical, intellectual, social and emotional development, hence there is an emphasis on practical life, sensorial and cultural elements.
- Personalized learning gives each child a unique stage of development, needs and interests.
- Prepared hands-on environment where materials are all within easy reach of a child. Materials are also all handpicked to be thought provoking and capable of leading a child through a process of self-directed education. Children are taught that they have freedom of movement around the classroom but there are rules that govern that movement such as packing up one activity before moving to the next. Everything has a purpose and place, and children are taught a sense of order so as to develop logical thought processes.
This is why if you attend a Montessori classroom you will be struck by how different it looks to a traditional classroom for 0-6 year olds. The teacher/student ratio is much lower than other nursery or kindergarten approaches, and the children tend to span a wide age range at different stages of development. This results in a role of teachers as guides and observers rather than instructors, and the students observing and learning from each other as much as from the teacher.
Some famous Montessori educated people include Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google founders), Joshua Bell (violinist, conductor), Anne Frank (diarist), and Taylor Swift (Grammy Award winner).
The benefits of a Montessori education for children include
- promoting independence and self-regulation
- fostering a strong sense of self and confidence
- reducing the need for external validation
- encouraging a genuine and lifelong love of learning
- heightening social skills and collaborative learning
- enhancing cognitive development and creativity