Defining The Montessori Curriculum

Investigating the Montessori Curriculum

Montessori curriculum is something that we all have all experienced but many of us are not quite sure of the real definition of the word. Montessori is a method of education that was specifically designed for kids who have just stepped into the world of formal teaching. Maria Montessori started this method of education. She realized that the minds of children are far more absorbent in nature when they are much younger. This led her to believe that this is the perfect time to motivate and help them to achieve competence over their environment. The kids are taught basic mathematical skills and the spellings and meanings of easy words.

The Montessori curriculum came into existence in the early 20th century and is still being followed by all schools in the world. Montessori designed the famous curriculum based on the teachings of Edouard Seguin and Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard. As she was asked to teach a few retarded slum children, she made various kinds of apparatuses that urged manipulation by the use of hands. This successfully helped the kids to learn in a conventional manner, similar to other children of their age. Later on, these techniques were also used for children without learning needs. Her methods of teaching were aimed at kids aged 3 to 7 years of age. The Montessori curriculum has now been improvised for the infants. There is no copyright to the name of ‘Montessori’ and thus a lot of schools for children are named after Maria Montessori. It has now become synonymous with the phrase “school for children”.

Concrete vs. Abstract Learning

The Montessori method of teaching believes that children learn best by concrete means. In order to learn how to count, it argues that children must be given physical objects to aid their counting skills. Making children read from charts does not help them to absorb the information. When a child tries to learn how to count using a counting chart, he may encounter problems such as his finger slipping. He tends to learn more when he is able to touch and arrange the objects as he tries to count them.

It is important for a child to be actively involved in what they are learning. As with learning to count, it is much more likely that children will remember the names of fruits if they are given the actual fruits to touch, feel and memorize. Concrete objects make a better impact on the child’s mind than abstract ones. Besides this, the set up of the classroom also has a huge influence in the learning procedure. It is also important that the classroom has materials that will help in the mental development of kids.

A huge challenge faced by the teachers who are teaching the Montessori curriculum is to successfully help children achieve both cognitive and social development.  Since childhood, the children face constant pressure to excel in academics. Many people forget the fact that a child will perform well academically when their emotional and psychological development has been successful.

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