The Montessori Method
The Montessori Method is probably one of the most known and studied philosophies within education. I love most parts of the Montessori Method; including the mixed ages, independence, class room layout and activities offered. I also like the structure: although typically Montessori class rooms have set outside play times and I am not sure it fits directly into the ‘Simba’s way’.
Like the Reggio approach the Montessori teacher acts as a guide to help the child to find their own way, through self-directed play. Most of the materials allow the child to learn from their own mistakes; for example the number bead line allows children to place the beads onto the correct numbers; if the child has gone wrong they will be aware when they get to the end of the line and are able to correct themselves. Most true Montessori resources look like puzzles which children can explore at their own pace.
Montessori children stay in the same class room or environment for 2-3 years; therefore limiting change and disruption which is something I strongly agree with. Children become comfortable with an environment and change can disrupt this and lower self-confidence.
The main part of the Montessori Method I like is the individual tray work; which dominates any Montessori class room. Children have access to individual trays which are set out with a variety of different skills to explore; ranging from practical pouring to fine motor skills to art work. Children are able to freely access our trays; the wooden or red trays and find an area to complete their activity. They do not have to share their tray but can if they so wish. The rule is that the tray needs to be put back for the next person once they have finished.
Whilst there are many benefits of the Montessori Method the aspects we love is that children learn at their own rate. They learn how to focus and concentrate and all learning styles are accommodated. Children achieve independence and have an increased self-esteem. In summary Montessori aims to teach children how to learn instead of just what to learn.
Did you know??? The founders of google and amazon were Montessori graduates!