THE MONTESSORI PEDAGOGY
The absorbent mind
Teach me how
to do it on my own
Dr. Maria Montessori, with her many years of experience in early childhood, concluded that a child from 0 to 6 years old is an absorbent mind. This crucial period of the child's life will therefore have a decisive impact on the shaping of his personality, hence the importance of a structured environment, organized and supervised by trained and experienced educators. Montessori educational material also plays a crucial role in learning and gradually acquiring autonomy for the child.
The absorbent mind as described by Dr. Montessori is the essential psychic property that distinguishes the intelligence of the child from that of the adult. In the first part of his childhood, from 0 to 3 years old, the child absorbs information unconsciously and without effort. During this period, the very small child will have to be strongly involved to imitate, reproduce and set in motion the "catches" of his observation. The second period of absorbing mind is from 3 to 6 years old. Her mysterious activity continues but she focuses more on certain impressions, sensitive periods, as on the environment and interpersonal relationships.
The Montessori guide is an example for the child, he is trained to prepare a neat environment. With his observations, he also knows the most sensitive time (sensitive period) to integrate a new concept to the child. Thus each child is followed individually and evolves at his own pace. A wide range of educational materials is available to the child in the environment. Montessori material is specific. Each object is, in itself, a learning element. The guide presents a material to the child, who remains free to handle it as often and as long as he wishes. The child absorbs, through his senses, the impressions that result from this exploration. He is not interrupted in his research and his concentration increases. Through this concrete material, the child integrates abstract notions.
The Montessori materials are designed to be self-teaching and self-correcting. Children learn by themselves, without being judged by adults.
The carefully planned Montessori materials provide a fun and safe learning setting, developing he child’s natural curiosity. Within this environment children naturally develop the following skills: autonomy, self-determination, perseverance and self-discipline. In other words the Man of tomorrow!