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A holistic system of education
Sheena Shivram |
January 03, 2006
In today's world every parent wants to give his or her child the best education. However academic achievement alone will not prepare your child for the challenges of life.
Let us tell you about a system of education, which caters to the various individual needs of a child namely social, emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual.
The Montessori Method
"Knowledge is necessary, but not sufficient. The well-educated person is a well-developed person who knows how to live a healthy life in every aspect of human existence -- a well-developed personality, " said Dr Maria Montessori.
Dr Montessori pioneered the Montessori Method of education which strives to look at the total development of the child and bring up competent and responsible citizens who are lifelong learners and problem solvers.
The basis of Montessori practice in the classroom is individual activity to help improve concentration and self-confidence rather than group lessons led by an adult. Children in a Montessori environment are encouraged to explore, investigate and fulfill their natural curiosity about the world around them.
When you walk into a Montessori classroom, the first thing that will strike you is that every child is busy, interested and concentrating in the activity they are doing. Group lessons are also conducted where each child participates and is encouraged to improve his vocabulary and self-confidence.
A Montessori school is equipped with different types of Montessori materials, which are classified into four types.
i. The Exercises of Practical Life is the foundation of a Montessori environment, which provides a wholesome range of activities.
This includes dressing frames (where the child learns to use buttons, buckles, lacing etc), take care of his environment and himself (washing clothes, tables, polishing shoes) etc.
These allow a child to develop control and coordination of movement and understand the functioning of their immediate environment. They also develop a positive attitude towards work. A sense of self-worth is also a byproduct of these activities.
ii. The Sensorial Material allows a child to make use of his/her various senses. You have activities like the Pink Tower and Brown Stairs comprising cubes of various sizes which helps the child in his/her visual discrimination of size and shapes.
Colour tablets are used to introduce him/her to the world of colour. Botanical and geographical concepts like land and water forms, different kinds of leaves and plants are explained to help him/her understand the environment they live in.
iii. The Language and Reading Materials introduce the function of words and provides activities to enrich his vocabulary. These enable the child to learn to read and write almost effortlessly.
iv. The Mathematics Materials help the child to understand abstract concepts like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division through various activities.
Through the Montessori materials even if your child makes an error, he or she will realise it by him/herself without being told by an adult.
~ The ideal strength in a Montessori classroom would be 30 to 35 children.
~ These children would be in the age group of 2 ½ to 4 ½ years of age. Post this your child will go to Class I in a regular school and will have the advantage of already being familiar with concepts like addition, subtraction etc taught here.
Montessori directresses and directors combine Dr Maria Montessori's proven methods with a nurturing environment and unique materials to help the child explore, investigate, enjoy and prepare for a lifetime of learning and discovery.
Want to know more about the Montessori Method?
Visit an exhibition cum orientation on the Montessori Method and materials.
When: January 6
Sir Ratan Tata Institute
30 Patkar Marg
Mumbai -- 400 007
- (022) 56648847
- Leena Sarabhai, Ahmedabad: (0) 9179 26449513