Montessori Plus School Kent WA

Montessori Teacher Preparation Kent WA

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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.

New Paradigm by Dr. Montessori (cont.)

2) RESPECT FOR CHILDREN:

The Montessori classroom was a place where children were seen and heard, safe from authoritarian adults, where the child’s interest and drive for learning were noted and valued. Although not a democracy, because the experienced adult established the guidelines for behavior and set up the environment, yet the classroom was egalitarian in philosophy. The Montessori teacher saw the child as equal to adults, with the right to respect. All people, whether child or adult, followed the same classroom guidelines. For example, if children may not sit on tables, neither do the teachers. Although called a teacher, s/he was a special adult, open to life, who believed in each child and encouraged each one to reach for his/her full potential, whatever that might be.

New Paradigm by Dr. Montessori

1) INDEPENDENCE:

Never before had adults trusted children to teach themselves, even under the guidance of an observant, knowledgeable adult. In 1907 in an apartment building in the slums of Rome, Dr. Montessori’s first school/day care began with 60 “normal” children, ages 2-7 years. Before the school opened at the owner’s request, the children had wandered about the apartment complex alone during the day, defacing the walls and grounds. She set up a classroom with low, light-weight chairs and tables, as well as cupboards for her many teaching materials. Next she began giving the children basic lessons about life through real objects, such as small, beautiful basin, pitcher, and soap for washing their hands. The children were shown how to prepare food for their own lunch. Rather than writing on the walls and sidewalks, the children were shown how to draw shapes with geometric frames and insets in order to satisfy their hunger for writing. Soon she made other materials, such as sandpaper letters for tracing, and saying the sound of the letter. The children began to read at the age of four, and once again, the world took notice of Dr. Maria Montessori. Her motto, “Whatever a child is able to do for himself, he should be allowed to do,” revealed to visitors a surprising but inevitable discovery: the children believed that they could accomplish almost anything!