The Forum of Ideas Virtual Fair: Montessori
The Forum of Ideas Virtual Fair
As Natural Teachers it is important to become familiar with the most notable child development theorists and philosophies. This practice is designed to strengthen your professional identity as a Natural Teacher.
The Assignment: You are eligible to win a million dollar grant to create your own school or childcare center. Explore the child development theorists and educational philosophies from the Forum of Ideas Virtual Fair. ( Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, and Montessori) Reflect and discover how important developmental theorists are in creating your own philosophy of education as a Natural Teacher.
Maria Montessori & The Montessori Method
WHO: Dr. Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and innovative educator best known for her philosophy of education called the Montessori Method. Montessori observed and studied the way children naturally learn.
WHAT: The birth of The Montessori Method evolved from scientifically exploring the best teaching methods for children’s learning. Dr. Montessori discovered the importance of the environment on learning. Therefore, based her method on self directed hands on learning and collaborative play. The Montessori Method uses puzzles and manipulative Montessori Learning Materials for every stage of development.
HOW: The Montessori Method is based on supporting children’s natural development in a prepared environment. These 5 Principles demonstrate how teachers are implementing the Montessori Method in a variety of educational settings including Outdoor Classrooms.
1. Respect the Child: Provide children with learning opportunities and allow them to make their own choices.
2. The Absorbant Mind: “It may be said that we acquire knowledge by using our minds; but the child absorbs knowledge directly into his psychic life. Simply by continuing to live, the child learns to speak his native tongue.” (Montessori, 1966)
3. Sensitive Periods: Montessori believed there are times when children are more “primed” for learning specific skills. These moments are called “Sensitive Periods.”
4. The Prepared Environment: Montessori believed that children do best in a prepared environment. “The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult.” Maria Montessori
5. Auto Education: Montessori believed that children teach themselves when they are in a prepared environment and called this “Auto Education”.
WHERE: Dr. Montessori’s educational method is still very popular today and can be found in many public and private schools throughout the world. Montessori teachers are required to attend specific training and certificate programs.
WHEN: Montessori teachers believe older children are valuable mentors for younger children; therefore, the prepared environmetns are designed using mixed age classrooms.
Maria Montessori’s Views on Children and Nature
“There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.” Maria Montessori
“It is also necessary for his psychical development to place the soul of the child in contact with creation, in order that he may lay up for himself treasure from the directly educating forces of living nature.” Maria Montessori
REFLECTIONS: Begin now and explore how to infuse Montessori Methods into your Outdoor Classroom. Leave a comment below and share your insights.
I love a Montessori, or Montessori inspired, environment for children. It truly does teach children independence. The multi age classroom is so the older students can help teach the younger students. And the “leaving children without help” isn’t necessarily a negative thing. The child then learns from their mistakes. The students may be struggling but eventually learns how to do what they are trying to do on their own. They become confident in their work. In my school, the teachers are there to assist students who are truly getting frustrated. But if that happens too much, in my opinion, then the child relys on the help every time. The importance of hands on learning can be seen in the classroom. And that can totally be incorporated outdoors. Part of Maria Montessoris love for nature is the caring of animals. I laughed at the beginning of the video, because we too have a bearded dragon in our classroom (I wonder if my director watched that video before getting her). Students learn how to care for living things and also how to respect them. That is something that we also take outdoors – no harms of living things and always returning things back to nature. The Montessori environment is usually a quiet place, for the most part. Talking in whispers to not distract others around you who are working, and walking in the classroom. This is something that can be introduced to an outdoor classroom as well (although, might be more difficult. Again, something we struggled with when trying to bring our classroom outdoors)
Beautiful! I love the concept of “leaving the child without help” too. Lot’s of food for thought on gauging how much, etc. Great reflections.
i love the idea of learning directly from creation, and letting the child choose what direction they want to go.
Yes…this is very Reggio. I love it! Creating interesting environments and facilitating learning rather than leading and children following. Why I love creating one-of-a-kind Outdoor Classrooms.
I teach in a Montessori Children’s House and therefore am predisposed to this philosophy! I think that the Outdoor Classroom is almost a necessary component of a successful Montessori environment; to let the child take the lead in her own learning, to act as a “guide” rather than a “teacher”, preparing the outdoor environment and asking questions as the children interact with it. Children open and unfold outside in a way that they don’t inside and it’s exciting to learn about ways we can meet their Sensitive Period’s for different types of learning outside
As I watched the videos I thought about my granddaughter and soon to arrive my grandson. I feel more comfortable with the Montessori methods than I thought I would be. I can see many of the methods in Their Learning Tree, the educational program for my grandchildren which I developed. In my program I can plainly see all of the educational influences and experiences I have had in my 44 years in education are present and are evolving to encourage learning experiences for them. So I am pleased that Montessori methods will become a more identifiable element. Thank you Victoria for this opportunity to explore.
The Montessori method is appealing to me.I m drawn to order,independence, a prepared environment. I am reading Montessori -The Science Behind The Genius, and it is stunning how current science supports her theory! I am most interested in the early years, as this is the age group I work with. I am sure I will be using some of her ideas in my work.
Thanks for the book reference. I will check it out! Facinating!
I believe in children learning how the world works and participating in real life experiences, especially ones that they are not exposed to. For instance, making yeast bread from scratch, building musical instruments, using natural materials to create with, etc. It is my mission to inspire children with these opportunities.
We are kindred spirits…I imagine a world where every child in every school will have access to an Outdoor Classroom. I also imagine that every teacher, in every school will be trained to teach outdoors…and that is simply the norm. Imagine how healthy our planet would be….
I strongly agree that children need to work “hands on”. I also agree that children learn better when the teach others.
I agree with a few point but desagree in leaving the children with out some help ,why children need a gide in this journey and a way to see life .But i dont like this theory to much .The children can not elianated them self with out a mentor in the process to show them the way.
I agree that children do need hands-on learning, it really helps them expand their views and understanding of the world!
I agree that children really benefit from hands on learning that they are engaged in and an environment that allows them to explore and discover new things.
I agree that children really be idiot from hands on learning activities that they are engaged in and an environment that allows them to explore and discover new things.
I strongly agree with the Montessori method. I believe that children will learn better by hands on work and learning on their own as long as they have everything there for them to do so.
I agree that children need hands on learning experiences!
I agree with the Montessori method because giving the children a prepared environment for them to self grow and learn things for themselves is very important.
I agree with the Montessori method. When children are in safe prepared environments they learn by themselves and are influenced by the older children (role model). I am also a big believer with hands on learning. That is how I learn. I think that they learn most by being outside and doing hands on activities while being out there.
I agree that children should learn with hands on activities and that they can learn things from doing things by themselves. You should prepare children with different ways to learn and have them go off of that. Children will be able to learn and discover themselves with “auto education.”
When young children are involved in exploration and discovery, they are enthusiastic and motivated. Through a method like the Montessori Method children are able to make discoveries and are allowed to inquire, be creative and collaborate. Through careful planning, thoughtfulness and intention early childhood teachers can set up the classroom environment to actively engage the children and allow them to explore and make discoveries on their own.
I am very familiar with Maria Montessori method of learning which is the Montessori Method. Maria’s method of learning is based on self directed hands on learning and provides children with learning opportunities and allows them to make their own choices. Throughout my years in school I learned best through the Montessori Method the hands-on learning. If the teacher would lecture I would forget the material however, if the assignment was hands on I would recall the learning material. I can see as student in a classroom that children are more interested when they are participating in the activity themselves such as doing a puzzle or arts and crafts activity.
In my outdoor classroom I would incorporate projects that have to do with nature. Pairing them together I would give them the project with multiple topics to pick from and leave it up to them to do it. This would incorporate “Auto Education” because they are given the task in a prepared environment. It would also offering them to choose there one topic because they are given the task in a prepared environment. In my opinion I enjoy the what Montessori schools work. As a senior in high school my early childhood class took a field trip to a Montessori school and I loved it.
I agree that children need hands on learning experience with the environment to help them learn.