Maria Montessori has garnered the attention of many educators worldwide. The Montessori Method emphasizes letting students explore their own method of learning with which they can grasp the concepts more effectively. This, in turn, makes the children more interested and excited to learn.
Maria Montessori has made many contributions to the education system and has changed the way many educators pursue educating young minds. Among her contributions, some prominent ones include promoting open classrooms, encouraging customized learning for every student, and introducing manipulative learning materials that allow students to engage in a hands-on approach when learning about a new concept.
To get a slight gist of the history of who Maria Montessori is and how this method came into existence, here is a simple guide to let you in on the secrets of what made Maria Montessori and her teaching methodology a success.
How did Maria Montessori become so popular?
Maria Montessori made her mark in the education sector when she introduced a child-centered way of learning to society. The Montessori Method was founded by an educator, innovator, and Italy’s first female physician named Maria in Rome where she opened her first school named Casa Dei Bambini.
She enrolled kids from ages 3 to 7 into her classroom where she carefully exercised her teaching methods and molded them according to the individual needs of her students. She believed that the kids would be more interested in learning new concepts if they were left to explore their own interests within some disciplined boundaries. Soon enough, the Montessori children developed an ability to focus and discover new ideas with the use of puzzles and other activities.
Maria Montessori became the center of attention because she revolutionized the way the kids were taught at a young age to become future leaders.
Contributions of Maria Montessori to the education system
Maria Montessori was a dedicated woman who aimed to modify the education system. She welcomed kids from the inner-city of Rome to her classroom, and by implementing her teaching tactics, showed the world that this manner of teaching is the most effective in raising future, successful children.
Here are some ideas that she introduced to the world of education:
Maria Montessori initiated the concept of having a child-size setting in her classroom. Whether it is furniture or cutlery, everything was as per the children’s size.
She also introduced the idea of open classrooms where children are free to roam around. They have access to different learning and playing materials. Open classrooms promote socializing skills in children and also encourage them to listen to instructions and collaborate with each other and the teacher accordingly.
Individualized education for children
Maria Montessori believed that all children are individuals and have different working mindsets. Because of this, they should be treated individually. Students should be taught at a pace that is suited to them and the content that they can easily comprehend.
Concrete learning materials
Maria Montessori initiated the idea of learning through hands-on learning materials. This method aims to introduce a new concept to the child through a concrete material. This way, the child gets a hands-on experience of what is being taught to him/her. The child’s mind then saves the idea and forms an abstraction.
Programmed instructions are also a method of teaching young minds a concept by following a series of steps and making use of various activities. The activities are designed to test the concepts of the children and to rectify their mistakes.
Maria Montessori also made use of teaching toys in her classrooms to foster the creativity and growth of children. The toys are usually made of natural materials like wood and even rock, and they are such that they challenge the skills of the child.
Montessori manipulative learning materials
Montessori manipulative learning materials are like toys except they are designed to engage the child in creativity and teach them about fine motor skills, matching, sorting, and problem-solving.
Why is Maria Montessori’s teaching method relevant today?
Even though it has been more than a hundred years since Maria Montessori laid the foundation of a teaching system that civilizes the child in a loving and nurturing environment, the Montessori method is still relevant to this day and age.
The Montessori method encourages the children to fend for themselves and to interact with one another within the confines of the classroom. Everything is scaled down to the size of the children which enables them to perform their tasks themselves.
Developing problem-solving skills
Through carefully planned activities and manipulative learning materials, kids are encouraged to discover their problem-solving skills. This enables them to observe the world around them with curiosity and a desire to get to know it better.
Collaboration with other kids
The Montessori system entails that kids of different age groups are all present in a single classroom. This means that all the kids get to interact and collaborate in various activities. Besides this, in such an environment, they also learn how to resolve conflicts, share, and compromise with one another with the help of their teacher.
In a Montessori environment, children are presented with an uninterrupted time, often called a work cycle, that enables them to tackle and focus on the task at hand. The Montessori teacher provides the students with new learning materials and the students are then given ample time to reflect and implement the knowledge through materials or activities.
The Montessori system has now taken its roots all over the world and has resulted in children growing up to become the best version of themselves. Montessori-going students can think critically, act boldly, and work in groups. They are also more confident and self-directed learners. Maria Montessori paved the way for the educators to implement her teaching methods to create classrooms that are a safe haven for the children where they can continue to learn, thrive and enjoy opportunities at their own individual pace.