The year was 1907 when the Italian Maria Montessori inaugurated the first Casa Dei Bambini in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Rome. In that school, an educational method was applied that was very different from that of other schools since Montessori's objective was to guide children to take charge of their learning. Her pedagogy caused such an impact on the way of understanding child development and education that it has survived to this day as an alternative to encourage children to think independently and be intrinsically motivated in their learning process.
However, although the essence of the Montessori methodology is very simple since it dispenses with all the frills of learning to focus on what matters, child development, it can sometimes be difficult to understand from traditional education what this method consists of. Above all, how to put it into practice. An easier way to understand Montessori education is through some of its basic principles.
TEN PRINCIPLES TO EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN ACCORDING TO THE MONTESSORI METHODOLOGY
It is difficult to summarize the principles of Montessori education because more than a method it is a philosophy of child-rearing and development. In her educational work, Montessori did not limit herself to enunciating a series of principles for learning, but rather promoted a way of understanding growth and interacting with children. However, there are some fundamental issues that this methodology considers basic for the development and education of children and that are essential to understand his philosophy.
1. Learning through self-discovery
One of the basic principles of the Montessori methodology is based on the freedom of children to discover their environment through movement, experimentation, and manipulation. It is through the experiences with the environment that the child improves the coordination of his movements to reach the objects that surround him, at the same time that he perfects the senses that allow him to manipulate and discover those objects. A simple way in which he not only acquires essential skills for his physical and motor development, but also with which he develops his cognition and learns to set goals.
2. Freedom of choice
The Montessori methodology is based on the freedom of choice of children. For María Montessori, adults should allow children to take a more active role in their learning and stimulate their decision-making capacity. Allowing children to make their own decisions not only helps them become more independent and self-sufficient but also allows them to direct their attention to the things that matter to them. A way to help them find their way and stimulate their intrinsic motivation.
3. Respect above all
Montessori education promotes respect for all people, regardless of their age. According to María Montessori, it is important to respect the rights of children, as well as their individuality, rate of development, and their ability to learn independently. This implies recognizing that each child has a unique way of being and learning that must be respected by adults. A simple way to reinforce self-esteem and security in the little ones is by teaching them to become more tolerant and respectful of people with those around them.
4. Interests as the basis of learning
Maria Montessori knew that children learn best when they are interested in what they are learning. In this way, they concentrate more, are motivated to delve into the content, and understand the concepts better. For this reason, one of her fundamental principles was to focus learning on children’s interests. Montessori education is in favor of allowing children to choose the content they want to learn and giving them free rein to decide their educational program. In this way, she makes sure that the little ones feel motivated and better concentrate on learning.
5. Collaborative learning
Montessori education considers that interaction represents a fundamental part of the learning process, so it promotes the formation of environments with few children, but of different ages. In this way, children can freely interact with each other while learning from each other. Collaborative learning is through which they not only acquire different skills and knowledge but also teach them to be more tolerant, respectful, and supportive of the people around them.
6. Intrinsic motivation as a driving agent of learning
Unlike traditional education, the Montessori methodology does not work with rewards or punishments, or external rewards. Instead, Montessori education fosters intrinsic motivation for learning, that is, it encourages children to work and learn not for the achievements or results they can achieve with it, but for the satisfaction it brings them. In this way, they are the children themselves who motivate themselves throughout the learning process, which not only allows them to focus on what interests them but also encourages them to do their best at all times.
7. From the concrete to the abstract
In Montessori education, the choice of materials is a fundamental element for children’s learning. María Montessori considered that the best way for a child to learn is through manipulation and experimentation with the materials in her environment. For this reason, in the Montessori methodology, the materials are designed to promote learning naturally. It is precisely through the materials that children form an idea of the world around them and learn the concepts in practice before taking them to the abstract level.
8. Prepared and organized environment
The educational environment plays an essential role in the child learning process based on the Montessori methodology. For this educator, it was not enough to give instructions to the children, they had to be urged to discover knowledge for themselves through an educational environment organized and prepared for this purpose. In Montessori education, the environment must not only be very clean and tidy to allow children to interact freely, but it must also be aesthetically attractive and have natural elements that captivate the attention of the little ones.
9. Order in the environment and mind
Order plays a fundamental role in Montessori education. According to her philosophy, having an adequate order in the use of materials and activities not only helps to give a logical sequence to the learning process but also helps children to organize themselves mentally. In this way, the little ones will be able to concentrate better, and at the same time that it will be easier for them to understand the different concepts and knowledge.
10. Children as active participants
In Montessori education, children have an active role in their learning. In practice, it is the children themselves who manage their learning from the educational means that adults provide them. According to this methodology, both educators and parents must assume a passive role in child rearing, limiting themselves to being simple guides or facilitators. In this way, children have the freedom to choose what, how, and when they want to learn.
If you are planning to give your child Montessori education, then look no further! Contact Mutendi Montessori now to get your child enrolled!