“I disagreed with my colleagues in my belief that mental disability is fundamentally an educational problem rather than a medical problem.”” Maria Montessori”
The Montessori curriculum is an educational curriculum based on an educational philosophy that takes the principle that every child carries within him the person he will be in the future. The psychological, mental, spiritual, and somatic-kinesthetic theories are based on child development theories.
Who is the Montessori Curriculum Foundation?
Maria Montessori (31 August 1870 – 6 May 1952) is a doctor, teacher, philosopher, psychologist, psychiatrist, lecturer, and mathematician. She was known for her philosophy and education, which later bore her name.
This superiority prompted Maria for more scientific and field research to study the child’s development and the most appropriate means for teaching it, she says: “While everyone was impressed with the development of my mentally handicapped children, I was looking for reasons that kept the happy, normal school children at that low level equal to that of my students in IQ tests. She considered that disability is fundamentally an educational problem rather than a medical problem, and she established a curriculum called the “Montessori Approach” to teach children in a way that is commensurate with their growth and needs at every age.
Montessori educational environment.
Education in the Montessori curriculum depends on applied learning, cooperative play, and self-directed activities, and Montessori classes (or spaces designated for teaching the child according to this curriculum) are designed in line with the developmental needs of the child at a certain age, and link between his natural interests and the activities available, and in a way that leads to learning For life and for a deep understanding of languages, math, science, music and more.
Stages of growth according to Montessori.
Stage 1: from birth to 6 years.
Montessori stressed the importance of the first six years of a child’s life, as this period of a child’s life is characterized by being the period in which the child adapts to those around him, and these years are divided into 3 stages, namely:
A – The assimilated mind stage: where the child is affected by the surrounding environment and forms the basis for his future learning.
B – The sensitive periods: characterized by the child’s repetition of certain activities until he mastered them.
C – The period of full awareness: the child consciously applies what he has previously acquired in terms of knowledge and skills.
At this stage, Dr. Montessori noticed that children tend to discover and develop their psychological and physical abilities, and the most important abilities that Montessori activities should focus on developing at this stage we mention language skills and order, refining the senses, focusing on social behavior and adopting small goals.
Stage 2: From 6 years old to 12 years old.
At this stage, Montessori noticed many psychological and physical changes on children, and it developed the environment of the classroom, study materials and natural materials in proportion to these changes, and among the characteristics that were observed to develop at this stage: the tendency to work in groups, the development of imagination, moral sense, social organization and abilities Creative and the formation of intellectual independence.
Stage 3: From 12 to 18 years old.
It is mainly the stage of adolescence, and Montessori noticed that this stage is characterized by physical changes linked to the age of puberty and the psychological changes that accompany it, and for this the activities must take into account the peculiarities of this stage such as psychological instability and lack of focus at this age and the growth of a sense of dignity and self-esteem, and this stage is The stage of self-building – according to Montessori-.
Stage 4: From 18 to 24 years old.
Basically, it is the stage of maturity, and Montessori did not develop educational activities for this stage, but adopted a curriculum for the self-development of people who had matured under the Montessori philosophy.
Principles underpinning the Montessori Method.
▪️ Independence: Helping the child gain a high level of independence and carry out tasks on his own.
▪️ Freedom of choice: providing freedom for the child according to clear, fixed, and logical boundaries, that promotes his growth in a positive way and makes him aware of the consequences of his choices, and thus develops self-discipline in the classroom environment and the external environment in the future.
▪️ Imagination: Stimulating the growth of imagination and creativity during each stage of learning is a major matter that is carried out through open-ended activities, which stimulate the child to explore new ideas and relationships, and establish innovation and self-expression.
▪️ Trained Montessori teacher: This teacher connects the child with all activities and experiences in the learning environment, and must have specialized knowledge of the child’s development and the purposes and uses of each activity in the learning environment.
▪️ Discovery: The difference between the Montessori methodology in education and others is highlighted here, as it gives children the opportunity to discover the answers on their own, and it enhances their self-problem solving skills.
▪️ Practical education: one of the necessities of the Montessori curriculum, which is practical education that activates the use of the body, mind and senses to transform learning into an effective activity.
▪️ Preparing the environment: It suits the stages of the child’s physical, mental, social and emotional development and meets his needs at every stage.
▪️ Respect: An important basis in the Montessori methodology is respect for his developmental abilities that push him to go through different experiences, treat him as a unique and independent person, and motivate him to respect people and things in his surroundings and the relationship between them, and this establishes awareness of the complexity of human existence.
Raising the child on the principles of this curriculum.
The Montessori approach is based on learning through observation and what the child likes to do:
1. Start by teaching your child to do the simple and appropriate things for his age.
2. Slowly make things in front of your child so that the child can perceive you, then have him try to implement what you have created.
3. At the age of six, have the child start tidying up his room, and start with simple things.
4. Start by teaching him the colors and assign each day a color according to your child’s understanding, then bring him a coloring book and paint with him.
5. Let the child handle some things like clips, papers, cups.
6. Determine a place to place the toys, and make your child, after playing, to place the toys in the correct place.
7. Do not let the child sit in front of the TV or phones for more than one hour. Watching TV replaced by playing mind games and other games.
8. Get your child back to brushing his teeth and bathing with your supervision and without your interference.
9. When your child goes to school, give him an allowance, and teach him how to save on it.
10. Let your child go to the market with you and buy things, take him into the kitchen with you and let him help you with the simple matters.
11. Don’t let your child depend on you for everything he does and wants.
12. Teach him how to welcome guests and respect older people through your actions in front of him.
13. Try to take some time to talk to your child about his day, what problems he faced and how he acted in solving them.
The role of the teacher in the Montessori method.
Montessori emphasized that the role of the teacher and teacher is to observe the child in order to determine his interests and preferences, and to prepare the appropriate environment to suit the child’s needs. That is, everything that surrounds the child must be for his service and meet his needs. The Montessori method has proven successful through its continuation of more than 100 years around the world.
The psychological foundations of the Montessori method of raising people with special needs.
These principles can be summarized in 4 laws:
The first law: that the activities provided at a lower level than those provided to normal children.
The second law: taking into account the characteristics of the mental development of children with special needs and taking into account their preferences. (Education must be concerned with the rich stimuli that lead to the fulfillment of the child’s experience, as the mentally handicapped child goes through psychological moments in which his mental readiness to accept information is strong.
The third law: You must work with the child in periods when he finds himself ready to satisfy his tendencies.
The Fourth Law: Giving the Child Adequate Freedom.
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