This article is from guest author and Montessori enthusiast Michelle Patterson.
The Montessori Education is a method of learning created by Dr. Maria Montessori over one hundred years ago. The method has proven to be an educational approach that is centered on the child and used scientific observations as the building points for the learning adaptations from a baby to an adult. The learning method takes that stance that a child is ready for knowledge and is capable of learning in a specific type of environment. Prepared environments are created and set forth for the children in such a program to work on the physical, social, cognitive and emotional aspects.
Parents with young children may consider this method as the starting point of their child’s educational future. Many parents would like to know what the outcome of such as education would be. How will a child structure into an adult with this type of educational background? Below are a few examples of what one can expect with a Montessori education.
The Montessori program is one that prepares a child for an education as well as life in general. Children will be able to begin the program at an early age to develop certain characteristics including:
Each classroom is designed with materials and items that can help to develop daily routines that promote self-regulation so the child can begin to learn on their own.
Children in this program are allowed to be themselves and remain a unique individual. Intrinsic motivation is gained as the child is able to learn in different ways based on what they like to do. Children are allowed to learn at their pace and can advance to new learning stages as they are ready. This allows each child to enjoy the learning process instead of feeling rushed or stressed.
The Ability to Work with External Authority
Although a child is taught to work at their pace and are given freedom, each student is also given limits. This helps to teach the child to work with external authority. The teaching method has learned through study that there is an internal satisfaction that will drive a child to be interested in learning. By creating this structured environment, a child will be able to work with external authority instead of against it.
Students of this learning program also learn social responsibility. Students are taught how to appropriately interact with others and how to navigate socially.
With Montessori, children are also taught how to self-govern. Each child is in an environment where they are given the freedom to pursue questions and activities. In the later years of study, children are taught how to criticize their work and then learn how to recognize, correct and learn from errors.
Confidence and Competence
Because a child is given a sense of freedom, the child will gain a healthy dose of confidence and competence. Children of the Montessori program feel as though they can do anything as they are given the power of choice with encouragement. Each teaching advisor of this program knows how to properly engage and encourage a child to help build on these characteristics.
Creativity and Originality of Thought
Because children are given an open learning environment, they are free to be creative and original. There will be no stifling of creativity as the Montessori Method promotes learning opportunities that stretch both the mind and imagination.
Children are also given the opportunity to learn about nature and the earth. The natural environment allows the child to live in harmony with others and helps to contribute strongly to the spiritual growth of the child.
Guest author Michelle Patterson is an educationalist who has been studying the varied forms of child education in our country. She is an unabashed fan of the Montessori system and spends a lot of time advocating its use for better children’s education.
Image from flickr.com used under the Creative Commons license. Image credit: whologwhy.