Montessori Methodtheory

Italian physician (Italy's first woman physician) and educator Maria Montessori (18701952) established an educational system in Italy in the early 1900s that emphasized the self-education of preschool children via the development of initiative by means of freedom of action. The Montessori method theory involves training in sense perception using objects of different colors, shapes, and sizes, and the development of eye-hand coordination in exercises and games. Montessori's educational model offers a "prepared environment" emphasizing the values of care for oneself and one's property, and includes materials to promote sensory, motor, and language skills education, proceeding in strict sequence according to the teacher's demonstration and facilita-tive leadership, and which combines work and play for the children (cf., synectics model - an educational strategy that focuses on creative problem-solving and the development and implementation of teaching methods that increase students' creativity, such as stressing students' metaphorical thinking abilities). Additionally, in the Montessori approach, children have the freedom to select any materials to which they are attracted spontaneously; each learner's choices reveal the individual's unique potentialities, and children may work independently or in groups. The Montessori class typically carries no grades, and rules are intended to encourage mutual cooperation, rather than competition; pupils are responsible for maintaining cleanliness and order, and normally acquire self-discipline rapidly. Typically, by age four or five years old, Montessori children spontaneously burst into writing activities; they learn spelling via a movable alphabet. The Montessori curriculum consists of science, history, geography, geometry, and arithmetic, and is based on the finding that preschool children can solve problems and accomplish a great deal of intellectual work before actually entering formal schooling (i.e., children from birth to six years of age demonstrate that they possess an "absorbent mind"). In the Montessori nursery schools, children are encouraged to establish good student-teacher relationships that are expected to generalize to subsequent relationships between the child and other adults in society. See also INSTRUCTIONAL THEORY; LEARNING THEORIES/LAWS. REFERENCES

Montessori, M. (1949). The absorbent mind.

Madras, India: Theosophical Publications.

Montessori, M. (1964). The Montessori method. New York: Schocken Books.

Montessori, M. (1976). Education for human development: Understanding Mon-tessori. New York: Schocken Books.

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Pregnancy And Childbirth

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