Montessori Method Essay

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The Montessori Method The Montessori Method (Word count includes Annotated Bibliography) The Montessori method began in the early 1900's by the first female doctor in Italy, Dr. Mary Montessori, as a way of educating mentally disabled children. Her ideas were so successful with these children that she began to apply her understanding of learning to study the potential of normally functioning children (Oalf, 2001). Dr. Montessori's approach to education stresses the importance of learning styles, independence and responsibility. According to Maria Montessori, 'In the special environment prepared?in our schools, the children themselves found a sentence that expresses their inner need, 'Help me to help myself.' ? (Standing, 1957). The ?prepared environment?, according to Montessori, consists of clean, bright, multi-sensory stimulating materials that are engaging for the child and that are placed in at their level so they can be accessed freely. There is a concentration on ?discovery moments?, defined as when a child learns new information through personal exploration (Fisher, 1964), in reading, math, social skills, and other subjects. The guided discovery approach means careful planning and direction for the child and that adults must know the purpose and meaning of each activity the child chooses in the classroom. Montessori teachers attempt to instill an internal drive into the children using this child-centered approach to teaching. An example of this is the use of mats or rugs in the classroom. Each child has a mat or rug to spread their materials out on. Every other child is respectful of this child?s space and he/she, in turn, is respectful of others. The result of this approach is a classroom full of self-monitoring students. Application in the Classroom When observing a Montessori classroom, it seems that teachers place little demands on the children. In
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