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Dr. Montessori and her methods

There might be certain questions in your mind…. Who is Maria Montessori? Why are we specifically talking about the Montessori methods when we are talking about Early Childhood Care and Education? and maybe, Why and how is it different from a conventional way of raising our kids? ..Like how we have been raised and thaaaaaat is completely fine.. See, we all turned out to be doing all okay in our lives..

Dr. Maria Montessori (31 Aug 1879- 6 May 1952) was one of the very first female physicians from Italy. Doctor by degree but empathetic towards the condition of her patients as she not only took care of their illness and medicines but was concerned about their shelter and food too.

In Nov 1896, as part of her work at Santo Spirito Hospital in Rome, she visited an asylum where she discovered children with emotional and mental disabilities. While looking at the children and observing their actions, she understood the reason for these disabilities as the lack of children’s engagement in learning and sensorial play. She then applied the scientific and objective approach to facilitate learning among those children. She immersed herself completely in redefining the environment in which these children were living by understanding their psychology and anthropology, she experimented and refined the education material available for them. Eventually, to everyone’s surprise, the majority of these children cleared the state’s examination higher than the children without disabilities.

This outcome of her experiments and methods hailed her as a Miracle Educator and the word was spread internationally. She traveled across countries sharing her ideas and methodology. According to her, her methodologies are ” an education for life”

To begin with, Dr. Montessori believed in self-education and a prepared environment, keeping the child in the center as it is a child-centered approach and this is something that has glued me to this method of education and upbringing. The very fact that it involves the environment, our house, me, my husband, our parents, our friends and relatives and sure the pets and the house-help and society as a whole. I find it to be very holistic for a child’s development.

As clearly indicated in the above diagram, by holistic development we mean the child is observant and able to reason, keen on learning on its own through hands-on experiments, have qualities like empathy and sympathy towards fellows and society, involved in family and daily chores, being responsible for actions and much more.

The Major Principles of the Montessori Education and Upbringing

Conventional education is different from Montessori education as conventional education is not child-centric and the lesson is delivered to the child in a unidirectional method i.e. from adult to the child/children but in the Montessori method, it is bidirectional as the apparatus being used by the child is self-explanatory and the adult is not the instructor (but an analyzer/ silent observer who prepares the right environment) and who lets the child decide the course of the actions.

And let me tell you what is there for a parent like you and me, this investment of your time (in preparing the environment and reading about how to do it) in these initial and early years is going to be profitable in the future when you are no longer living with your child to keep a track on how they are doing in life. We at Being Sentient believe in raising conscious and responsible little humans and I would urge you to please manifest your parenting ideas in regard to these principles and you will definitely see the difference.

Happy Parenting ! ! 🙂

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