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WHAT IS MONTESSORI EDUCATION?
Early in the 20th century, Maria Montessori developed a
philosophy of education based on her intuitive observations of
children. She saw the child as being in a constant state of
growth, absorbing almost all of his early learning from his
environment. Dr. Montessori was keenly aware of the great role
sensory-motor activities played in the child's learning. The more
opportunity a youngster has to feed sensory stimuli into his
growing brain, the more he would develop. To foster learning,
the environment should be prepared enabling the child to freely
choose those learning activities for which he has developed a
Dr. Montessori did more than recognize the child's developing
intellectual needs, however. She recognized his individuality;
saw his need to develop in accordance with his own inner
needs, and afforded children the genuine respect due all
individuals. The result of her response to life was a totally new
approach to education.
Dr. Montessori implemented this philosophy by developing
tools and techniques that would faster positive attitudes in the
child toward himself and learning. The apparatus is constructed
and used in such a way that the child learns through
manipulation and movement. Since it is self-correcting, once it
has been presented the child can work with it alone or with
another child. Although you will frequently find children working
together and teaching each other, the learning process is on
independent activity. Each works at his own speed with
materials rhot appeal to his interests and level of ability. The
child in a Montessori classroom does not compete with any
other child. Nor does he experience thwarting or acceleration
for the sake of maintaining a group pace He learns to look for
satisfaction in his own work and accomplishments.