A GENIUS HIDDEN IN YOUR CHILD?
The Montessori method enables the genius to unfurl itself from within the child who is to many an adult a mystery amidst an enigma.
"All children are born geniuses, 999 out of 1000 are swiftly, inadvertently degeniused by grown-ups" .......... Buckminster Fuller.
Every child is born with a thirst; a hunger for knowledge and they can only learn what humanity has learnt by trial and error. We can learn from mistakes, but we tell the child "don't make mistakes". We seem to have forgotten that some of the greatest scientific discoveries were in fact due to "mistakes" made by some scientists - The discovery of Penicillin.
When dealing with children we in our ignorance, out of love and concern of the child's future, act as though we know all the answers and curtail the child's spontaneous acts of exploration, so that the child does not make "mistakes". Thus, we systematically encourage the child not to think - Lack of responding power kills the genius in the child
The Montessori method, which was discovered by Dr. Maria Montessori (Italy's Fair Lady Doctor) does not aim at teaching. It does not equate education with imparting knowledge. It aims at assisting the development that is taking place in the child. The child is an entity unto himself, a pole of humanity. The future adult cannot be constructed harmoniously if the child has not been able to develop harmoniously.
Dr. Maria Montessori sees the child as the "Father of the man". The method firmly believes that the child learns by his own experiences and provides him with vast and varied experiences. The environment is setup with various apparatus from the field of Practical Life, Sensorial Activities, Language, Mathematics and Culture. Under the heading of Culture, we group together subjects like Botany, Geography, Sciences, Art, Music, etc.
The use of the apparatus is demonstrated to the child and once it has been done the child is free to use it as often and for as long as he does not abuse it. Therefore, he learns from his own experiences. As more demonstrations are given, the child has more activates to choose from and may move around freely choosing what he needs to do. Hence, at any given time, different children are doing different activities from different fields. The age group vary from 2.5 years to 6 years. Thus, forming a mini society of their own.
The Practical Life exercises help the child to acquire the coordination of the movement, become independent and develop the social skills needed to live as members of the society.
The Sensorial Material enables the child to develop the ability to observe and compare with precision. These activates pilot the child to more complex activities.
Mathematics is later formally introduced by means of concrete materials that enable the child to fully understand the quantity. It helps them realize that quantity and numbers in each of these hierarchies range from 1-9. Similarly, they are helped to carry out various operations like addition, subtraction, etc. with understanding.
Language is introduced to the child so that he can first develop the spoken language skills i.e. to acquire vocabulary and learn how to converse in the media of instruction. They are introduced to phonetics and can thus write, spell and read fairly confidently by the time they are 6 years old.
Education is not something, which the teacher does, but it is a natural process, which develops spontaneously in the human being.