Montessori’s Education Theory and Tools

The Montessori Theory is a response to the conventional schooling system that has been the same for many years. Unfortunately, the current approach leads to passivity within the classroom that later transforms into dislike and dissatisfaction with learning in general (Lillard, 2017). On the other hand, the Montessori Theory, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, a highly intelligent and passionate physician and educator, challenges such attitudes of people towards education. Several Montessori educational tools represent the theory as a whole by promoting independence, encouraging active learning, and sparking interest.

The botany cabinet is one of the most effective teaching programs. It is implemented as a visual distinguishing and learn-to-write activity, which includes three wooden compartments full of various leaf forms and an orange stick (Lillard, 2017). Pre-school children follow the edges of different geometrical leaf shapes, advancing their wrist mechanics, learning how to hold a pen, and being introduced to the world of botany (Lillard, 2017). This approach has shown effectiveness in helping students gain independent interest in writing and memorization.

Another game-like activity used for nurturing young pre-schoolers is the tree puzzle. Students learn about their surroundings by repeating the names of separate wooden shapes, such as roots, trunk, branches, and leaves, which reinforces a finding that children learn better by practice and touch (Lillard, 2017). These four different parts can also be connected to the values of the Montessori Theory. The roots, for example, represent a ready-to-learn student who has interest but needs guidance to grow further. The next development stage is the trunk, meaning the importance of order and concentration within learning. The branches, in turn, depict a learner’s first success in a given activity, which is believed to be a better evaluation than regular grades. The leaves play the concluding role indicating a child’s readiness to move forward. As a whole, the tree puzzle is deeply connected to the early childhood growth stages focusing on practical learning, teaching the ability to decide, and improving coordination skills.

The botany cabinet and tree puzzle are only two of many other educational tools that are used in Montessori classrooms. They promote the fundamentals of the Montessori Theory of teaching and learning, which are movement, freedom, independence, and responsibility. Montessori centers respond to the contemporary schooling system by transforming passivity into active engagement. Young children that are often referred to as empty vessels benefit from this practice the most, challenging the long-established attitude towards education.

References

Lillard, A. S. (2017). Montessori: The science behind the genius (3rd ed.). Oxford UP. Web.

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