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Montessori Theory and Practice.

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Introduction

?Concentration is the key that opens up the child?s latent treasures within him. As the scattered elements if his personality comes together, order begins to take the place of disorder, and the work of self-construction, which had been interrupted, is now taken up again, as nature has intended all along.? E.M Standing, Maria Montessori: her life and work, pg 174 Learning, by itself, cannot happen without concentration. Whether we are learning to tie our shoes, write our name, wash a car or solve complex algebraic equations, there is intense concentration specific to the task at hand. Dr. Maria Montessori understood the power of concentration, and her methodology is designed to nurture this power. Concentration in infants is a fragile thing. Concentration is broken by the adult trying to shift the focus of the child. Indeed, Montessori said ?no one acting from the outside can cause him to concentrate?. As the child grows and enters the Montessori environment (ages 3-6), concentration and attention span increase. In fact, that is an indirect aim of most Montessori activities. Practical Life activities are the cornerstone of the Montessori curriculum which serves the purpose of building independence, improving coordination, and following steps in a sequence. Our modern culture contains a multitude of distractions: video games, computers, television, and any number of sports- or arts-related extra activities. Combined, these can create an overabundance of sensory stimulation. Maintaining calm, controlled, prepared Montessori environment and a clear approach to reducing distractions and sensory overload is an important task of the Montessori caregiver. ...read more.

Middle

Thus, it clearly states that the child is born with the power to concentrate, and we are can only help him master it through an aware adult working in a prepared environment. ?When we speak of environment we include the whole assemblage of things from which the child is free to choose for using just as he pleases, in conformity with his inclination and his need for action.? Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child, pg 87. The Montessori prepared environment should be a loving area, a nourishing place to meet the child?s need for self-construction. Here, they experience a combination of freedom and self-discipline, as guided by the environment. She regarded the environment secondary, because the two creative sensibilities of the child are termed as primary which are nourished through the environment. The basic elements within the prepared environment are Freedom; the concept of freedom in a classroom is achieved when children move usefully, intelligently and voluntarily without committing any rough or rude acts. Freedom enables the child to develop good working habits and sustained concentration. The child enjoys the freedom of movement at will. He has the freedom of choice; enjoys the freedom of speech. Children have the freedom to grow and construct him through Montessori environment. Children also have the right to love and be loved uncondionally, unvarying and unquestionably. A Montessori classroom is free from competition, rewards or punishments. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, when we provide the right prepared environment to the child which stimulates his inner psychic pattern, revealed through the two creative sensibilities, understood by an aware adult leads to a Society of Cohesion. The behaviors which characterize the Social Cohesion can be identified as controlled and purposeful interactions, characterized by mutual respect and personal dignity, Compassion, Sympathy, Empathy, Concern for Others, Willingness to help those in need, Spontaneous Reciprocity and Altruism; Solidarity, Unity, and Harmonious Social Life; Awareness of the Consequences of One?s Actions and a non-competitive attitude. The cohesive social order is a natural fact and must build itself spontaneously under the creative stimuli of nature. No one can replace God, and anyone who tries to do so become?s a devil, just as when the overbearing adult oppresses the creative energies of the infantile personality. The child?s characteristics, during his life as ?the spiritual embryo?, are not discoveries of the intellect, nor made by human work, but are mental qualities, that we find in the cohesive part of society. Not sermons but creative instincts are important because they are realities. Goodness must come out of reciprocal helpfulness, from the unity derived from spiritual cohesion. What nature has given them develops with constructive work. Montessori education, therefore, of little ones is important because this is the embryonic period for the formation of character as well as society. ?What the child achieves between the age of three to six does not depend on doctrines but on a divine directive which guides his spirit to construction.? Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, pg 252. ...read more.

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