Maria Montessori is an Italian teacher and doctor. She developed a unique method of teaching mentally retarded children. The results of this method were brilliant: backward toddlers not only caught up with their peers in development, but in some cases they outstripped them. Therefore, the Montessori method was used to develop healthy children around the world.
The basic principle of education according to Montessori's methodology is the freedom and self-development of the child. It can be expressed in these words: "Help me to do it myself."During the training, each child is treated individually. Next, we give the main postulates of children's development according to the Montessori method:
- The main thing is to interest the child in learning, then he will develop himself.
- Development classes are held in a special prepared room, divided into 5-6 zones, each of which contains special benefits.
- In one group, children of different ages are engaged. This contributes to the fact that the younger try to repeat everything for the elders, and they themselves learn to do something new, and the older ones acquire the skills of caring for the younger ones.
- Every child is his own teacher. He is free to learn as he likes.
Montessori's method helps the child develop his logical and creative thinking, memory, attention, fine motor skills, imagination. Collective tasks and games contribute to the development of communication skills, household activities, development of independence.
Zones and didactic materials
For the upbringing of a child, Montessori method requires the preparation of special didactic materials, which consist of educational games and teaching aids. Particular attention is paid to what benefits are made of, it is recommended to use only natural materials: wood, cloth, paper.
In most cases, the room in which classes are held is divided into the following zones:
- Real-life zone .Being in it, the child learns to clean, wash, dress, paint, cut, mix. These exercises develop in children small and large motor skills of the hands, they teach them to concentrate attention.
- Zone of sensory development .In it, children learn the properties of the objects around them and get acquainted with such concepts as length, height, color, weight. In the future, it will help them to understand that the objects differ in color, shape and size. Also, kids learn to follow the subject with their eyes, and this will contribute to a faster learning of the reading skill in the future.
- Movement area .In this part of the room on the floor a circle is drawn, being in it, children perform exercises for attention, development of balance and coordination of movements.
Still there is a natural-science, mathematical, geographical, language zone for development of mental abilities of the child. Engaged in Montessori method, the child does not sit at the desk, he can freely move from zone to zone at will. At the same time, he decides with which didactic material he is now working. A kid can be engaged alone or with other children. When children learn by the Montessori method, there is no competition between them: everyone works at their own individual pace. The educator intervenes in the child's activity only when there is a need, his main task is to help the child to reveal his potential.
Lesson on the Montessori method lasts about 1-1.5 hours. Next, we will describe approximately how it goes. Children become in a circle, greet each other, do finger exercises, dance, play musical instruments. Usually the greeting lasts 10-15 minutes. At the end of the day, the children part ways around the zones and do what they like. In this case, the educator does not direct the activity of the kids, since it is believed that this contributes to the development of their independence.15 minutes before the end of the lesson the teacher calls the bell, the children unfold the didactic material in places and again gather in a circle. After that, they recharge again, and watch the cartoon.
Despite the fact that the Montessori development methodology has positively established itself throughout the world, there are still people who criticize it. Their main arguments are:
- The system promotes the development of only practical skills and intelligence, while not at all contributing to aesthetic education.
- After training according to this technique, it is hard for children to get used to discipline in the garden or school.
- There are no moving or role-playing games in the system, and for the child the main activity is the game.
Although experts are critical of Montessori's development, it is popular with parents who want to develop their child in the most versatile way possible. And this is the best confirmation that it is effective.