Montessori Method: Pros and Cons
Most modern moms and dads, with a shudder recalling the stern teachers in kindergarten with commanding voices or teachers who forced students to walk in a circle during recess, with understanding and preference belongs to the Maria Montessori method, which has become very popular lately.
Maria Montessori - the Italian teacher and the first woman doctor in the world - has created her own special methodology for raising children. Today, almost all pedagogical universities of not only our country, but the world as a whole, are studying it. Many kindergartens are currently mastering the Montessori method, which gives more significant effects compared to traditional programs.
The fact is that modern society has finally seen that the traditional system is not ideal for raising the younger generation. That is why there was such a keen interest in Montessori. The author’s understanding of the inner world of the child and its ideas regarding assistance for his development and formation as a personality turned out to be very significant.
The Montessori method is often characterized as a pedagogical method, which consists in encouraging the child to self-education, self-learning and self-development. The child independently builds his personality, using his inner potentials.
To do this, M. Montessori developed a special developmental environment and provided the child with the opportunity to work freely and independently in it.
Freedom and independence allow the child to experience the world at their own pace, to feel independent, to maintain a steady interest in cognitive activity. Montessori believed in the intrinsic value of each child, which is the basis of its methodology.
The Montessori method does not apply comparisons and measurements according to existing common standards. Instead, children learn freely, without coercion, external intervention and criticism. Maria Montessori was convinced that both encouragement and punishment are harmful to a person’s inner orientation and that people should learn by following their own motivation.
First of all, because the desire to take part in the life of adults is organically peculiar to the nature of the younger generation.The Montessori method focuses on the needs, abilities and talents of the child.
Children learn best when they can determine their own rhythm and way of learning. Therefore, Montessori pedagogues encourage children to independently manage the choice of pace, theme, and reinforcement of what was learned.
The purpose of the Montessori method- not the transformation of a child into a child prodigy, but only the development of his natural independence, and with it other abilities. In fact, if a child, following your example, does something himself (buttons buttons, tying shoelaces, sculpts dumplings - anything), you can safely assume that he is already engaged in the Montessori system.
In practice, the main “trick” of the Montessori method is in the absence of a program as such. This montessori teacher is almost not involved in the upbringing of the child. His main task is to understand what is interesting for a small person in a certain period of his life, to provide an optimal environment for studying and to unobtrusively teach this very environment to use.
According to the method of Maria Montessori, the process of development of the child's personality is divided into three phases:
- the first stage of childhood (0 - 6 years);
- the second stage of childhood (6 - 12 years);
- youth (12 - 18 years).
Each of these stages is a distinct independent segment of development. So, from the birth of a child to the age of six he has the most actively developed speech - he learns to speak. Almost in parallel with this process, a period of sensory development takes place.
Somewhere from the age of one year old, a child masters movements and actions, and from one and a half years he learns to perceive rules and orders. After another six months, to his second birthday, the baby begins to be interested in small objects, he develops fine motor skills. A little later, the so-called period of social adaptation begins, when the little man begins to become a full member of society.
Montessori defines the second stage of childhood as a phase of lability. In the course of its development, the child goes through the so-called “sensitive” or “sensitive” periods.
If, during the sensitivity phase, the child finds an activity that matches his needs, he will become capable of deep concentration.
In the continuation of this phase, the child does not allow himself to be distracted by other stimuli - he is undergoing a process of attainment, which,according to the Montessori method, it captures not only its intellectual side, but also all personal development.
The following observation is decisive for the development of the Montessori method and the corresponding materials: one of the most important phases of sensitivity of each child is the phase of “improvement of feelings”. Every child has a natural desire to touch, smell, taste everything.
From this observation, Montessori concludes that access to the child’s intelligence does not lead through abstraction, but principally through his senses. “Feel” and “learn” become a whole in the course of the learning process.
So, if a kid is interested in his own tactile sensations and smells, the task of the Montessori teacher is to provide him access to various rough pieces of dryuk and spice jars. The child himself knows how much time to devote (for the best result) to the study of roughness, and how much dried cilantro and ground pepper.
This is the most important element of the Montessori method. Without it, it cannot function as a system. The prepared environment gives the child the opportunity to gradually, step by step, get rid of the care of an adult,become independent of him.
Therefore, the child's environment should, according to the Montessori method, correspond to it. Thus, the equipment in the child’s home or school should be appropriate to the height and proportions of the child of the appropriate age.
Children should be able to rearrange tables and chairs on their own, children should have their own room. They should be given the opportunity to independently choose a place to practice.
Moving chairs from place to place, making noise, Montessori views as an exercise of motility. Children should learn to rearrange objects as quietly as possible so as not to disturb others. The surroundings are aesthetically and elegantly, fragile porcelain is used in the house.
Children need to learn confidence in handling fragile items and be aware of their value. The material is freely available, at the level of the child’s eyes.
This is a call to action. Each type of material is available only in one copy. This should teach the child social behavior towards other children, take into account their needs. Children take care of their surroundings themselves. Because of this, they acquire the skills of independence from adults.
An adult must learn to lead the child to the doctrine, in order to distance himself and remain in the role of an observer, accompanying the process of knowledge in children. As each child goes through the sensitivity phases individually, the curriculum in the child’s home or school should be individually oriented.
The teacher owns the technique of sensory phase recognition and is able to lead the child to activities that would activate his interest. However, the child should be given the freedom to choose with which he wants to work.
Regarding what the educator should do, is the first pedagogical requirement. This is not a requirement to do something definite, but a requirement not to do something definite, namely, a categorical call not to interfere with the process of self-development.
From this follows all the understanding of upbringing that underlies the Montessori method, which she understands as “assistance in the child’s self-development from the moment of his birth.”
By this, she formulates her clear “no” of all kinds of energetic personalities who, like Goethe's Prometheus, want to create people in their own image and likeness, as well as modern behaviorism, which reduces the human personality to cybernetic concepts.
Montessori expects from an adult, on the contrary, “internal refocusing”, which leads to the fact that an adult in communication with a child does not think about himself, but about the child and his future.
It may seem to someone that the Montessori teaching method does not have minuses. This, of course, is not true, and this method, of course, has disadvantages.
Firstly, in Montessori groups they do not pay attention at all to the creative beginning, but concentrate only on the development of intelligence and practical skills. If you decide that the child should become a folk artist - the Montessori program, alas, is not for you.
Another disadvantage is that after a democratic Montessori-kindergarten, a child can be difficult in a security school. It may be difficult for Chad to admit that drawing must now be done before arithmetic, and not instead of it.
The third drawback is that the Montessori program does not provide any role-playing games. It is important not to miss the moment when the child should start playing someone, and not with something.
What can you advise parents?
It's simple. First, do not be afraid of anything. Secondly, to understand that it is impossible to limit oneself to what the garden gives.All the missing can be given to the child at home. If the group does not dress up as bunnies and does not dance under the Christmas tree - you can arrange a show for the grandmothers.
Thirdly, choosing a montessori-garden, it is important to make sure that it is real: teachers have the right education, montessori materials meet the international requirements of the methodology, the classes are properly equipped.
Alas, in Russia there is a considerable number of fraudsters who are trying to issue their useless services for Montessori courses for the youngest. Be attentive and caring - then a Montessori-based kindergarten will be a great help in the development of your beloved child.