Montessori Plus School Kent WA

Montessori Teacher Preparation Kent WA

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New Paradigm by Dr. Montessori (cont.)

5) SENSITIVE PERIODS:

Through her observations, Dr. Montessori labeled two modes of early learning: unconscious (0-3) and conscious (3-6) learning, within which sensitivity for certain aspects of learning can be seen. For instance, waiting until age five or six to assist young children to read is too late. By waiting until late in their formative period (0-6) to begin preparation for reading, the child’s crucial years of keen hearing and great interest in sounds and letters have passed by. She found that young children, at ages 3 and 4, who play games with phonetic sounds are usually reading by 4 ½ or 5 years and have taught themselves to read. They step into the wonderful world of books and never leave it.

New Paradigm by Dr. Montessori (cont.)

4) FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT:

One of Dr. Montessori’s first premises was that, in order for the young child’s intellect to be free and to create, his body must be physically free as well. Since the first Montessori schools opened in the U.S. in the early 20th century, most early childhood specialists have feared that the Montessori child would focus on academic skills at the expense of socialization and play. If Montessori education were paper and pencil work at a table, they might be right. A Montessori classroom, however, is founded on the free but controlled movement of the child. Her first small, low tables were not nailed to the floor but were portable and available for the young children to carry them as they needed. Purposeful movement in young children, ages two-and-a-half to six, brings awe to the observer. How can these children know what to choose and where to get it? How can physical and mental discipline come about with such freedom of movement? Is it possible for these children to be well-disciplined without being made to sit for long periods in their desk? Finally today, researchers on the human brain are finding that real and profound learning happens when children are allowed to move their bodies throughout space in the classroom. Entrusted by teachers, the child sharpens his pencil and uses the bathroom at will. He moves about as a free agent, only limited by his own muscle development and will.

New Paradigm by Dr. Montessori (cont.)

3) ABILITY TO CHOOSE:

In every culture and in every family, parents try to help their children to learn and grow. As this pattern becomes a habit, so it can interfere with the child’s natural development of choice-making. Parents may continue caring for their infant. Dr. Montessori found that the young child wants to master his environment and to “do it himself.” This is the cry of the human child. The Montessori teacher, moreover, is trained to assist young children in such a way that she can allow children to make their own choices, within limits. She provides many opportunities for children of all ages and developmental levels and allows the child to select the work he prefers. As the child chooses, his ability to choose well improves, and his self-confidence marches on in a natural progression. At home, allowing the children to select small things, such as deciding between two kinds of cereal for breakfast, or whether to brush his teeth or wash his face first, affirms his longing for adult trust. He wants his parents to have confidence in him, and he thrives when it is given to him.