Sunday, August 27, 2006

Montessori Lesson 2

Dr. Maria Montessori's Discoveries at Casa dei Bambini

1. Mental Concentration
Children as young as three years of age exhibited intense concentration to the extent that they seemed to be oblivious to the rest of the environment and in a world of their own.

2. Love of Repetition
There was in young children, a tendency to repeat the same thing over and over again. Montessori, regarded this meaningless repetition of an exercise as one of the essential features of the child’s manner of working.

3. Love for Order

4. Freedom of Choice

5. Love of Work
As observed, the children preferred work to play. This revelation came about when expensive toys were placed in a room with the children and were left virtually untouched by the children.

6. No Need for Reward & Punishment
With younger children the greatest reward is to be able to pass on to a new stage in each subject. It is a punishment to a young child not to be able to use her apparatus but to sit still and do nothing.

It seems from the testimonies of these experienced Montessori teachers, that the learning activity itself is reward to a child and the removal of the child from the activity is in itself quite sufficient ‘punishment’, thus making a system of rewards and punishment unnecessary.

7. Lovers of Silence

8. A Sense of Personal Dignity
Very small children have a profound sense of personal dignity; and if adults neglect to respect it “their souls may remain wounded, ulcerated and oppressed in a way adults seldom realize.

9. The “Explosion” into Writing

10. The Discovery of Reading

11. Spontaneous Self Discipline
The children that came to Casa dei Bambini were children from the streets and disorderly.
Yet, as weeks went by, and the children became accustomed to this new mode of life, a happy and extraordinary change came over them. It seemed as though a form of goodness had developed inside them, which as it grew, caused their disorderly habits to fall away.

They began to exhibit an extraordinary self-discipline; and with it a serenity of spirit, and a great respect for the rights of others.

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