what's taught in montessori education so that the children have a super ability?
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Barb - posted on 03/26/2011
We actually do start with the continents with the young children because it's actually easier to understand. They can see a globe and understand that part is water and part is land. With a city, it's difficult to see where the division between the city and state is. We start with the whole and get smaller as they are able to understand. They CAN look at a globe and see where the continents are. As for dramatic play, we have an entire area of the classroom called practical life which mimics behaviors they see at home such as pouring, spooning, etc. Many children will use these (and other activities) dramatically. I have heard many conversations between students pretending to have tea parties and such. It also may depend on the length of time they are at school. We have more dramatic play and "toys" for students who stay all day vs. children who go home. We do use the term work for everything so they learn that work can be fun. Even toys are called works. Playing is their work even if it isn't academic.
Oh, and I'm traditionally trained as well. I had a HUGE bias against Montessori due to my professors at college and not truly understanding the philosophy. I'm not saying it's for everyone, but it is way more involved that what it appears.
Trish - posted on 03/22/2011
I studied early childhood and did many observations in Montessori schools and I personally didn't care for them. I am sure every school is different and some do more Montessori than others but the schools I saw didn't let the children really play, there was no dramatic play area like kitchen or dress up, no puppets, dolls, etc. When I taught preschool those were the children's favorite things! I want my daughter to be able to do creative pretend play like that and not just sit and do table toys all day like I saw them doing. They also were teaching things that IMO were NOT developmentally age appropriate, like teaching 3-4 year olds about the continents. A preschooler barely has a concept of a neighborhood let a lone a city, state, country, or continent! When looking for a school for my daughter I will avoid Montessori because I want her to be a kid and get messy and play play play, not work all day. Just my opinion on the schools I saw, not to say all are bad or others may not like it.
Linda - posted on 03/12/2011
I'm a Montessori Educator (French mostly, and a component of English). It's not about super ability....but about giving the children the tools they need. It's also a mentor-ship...and presented a child the love of learning. Why don't you visit a Montessori school, in order to get a better picture?
Barb - posted on 01/29/2011
I'm a Montessori teacher. It's not that the children have super abilities, it's just that it is more child centered and individual. The children are able to work at their own pace and interests. We strive to instill a love of learning that helps the child want to learn. The materials are hands on so it's fun and easier to understand. It's hard to give a general answer without writing a huge response. If there are specific questions, I'd be glad to answer. A few key phrases are "Follow the child" and "Freedom within limits" (not just freedom and not just limits. There needs to be both. :)
Sally - posted on 08/30/2011
First, True Montessori preschools are hard to come by. Many call themselves Montessori but really are not. Montessori is child led, the materials are natural, not plastic junk. Lessons are given on specific equipment. Children work on the floor or on table of their own choosing. They are allowed to move freely. A true montessori classroom is an amazing site. It will be quiet, controlled and the kids focused. Older kids are encouraged to work with younger ones. Kids are guided, not controlled. Children have value, their thoughts and idea are encourage. One great resource is a book titled "Montessori, the science behind the genius." by Angeline Lillard(sp?). It will explain a lot. Maria Montessori was way ahead of her time. She had true respect for children and placed a high value on a child own instinct. Something we are not so good at as a society. You have to see the materials & see the kids interact with them to understand. Don't expect a bunch of handouts, plastic toys or any tradition preschool stuff. Give it a try, research your school and how your teachers were trained. If you get a good school, you will be very happy.
Danielle - posted on 06/18/2012
I like the idea of teaching continents!
We talk with my daughter about how the earth rotates and revolves, how a sun rise and sun set don't mean the sun is the one doing the moving, how rainbows are created, the shape of our state, the phases of the moon etc. She just turned 3 last week.
I'm starting to dis-like the term "age-appropriate" if it means what I saw one of these replies to mean "oh they are not old enough to understand XYZ". Finding age appropriate and child appropriate ways to introduce a child to the basics of more complicated scientific and mathematical concepts is exactly why the Montessori method intrigues me. I love hearing the pro's and cons in the "5 signs Montessori is right for your preschooler".
Minet - posted on 04/07/2011
Sorry I don't have an answer for you but Ive just accepted a position as music teacher at a Montessori school. It's good to read the responses from my perspective because now I can alter my lessons to be more child-centered. Thanks.
Becky - posted on 03/30/2011
Just as the other teachers have siad there is no super ability we follow the child. It is just that. When searching for the perfect school montessori or not you should always schedule time to observe a few times and meet the teacher that your child may be in the classroom with. There are many things that people dont understand about montessori and that is ok. The impartant thing is to make sure that you understand what they are doing in the classroom, arm yourself with questions for the teacher and director of the school. Make sure that they are knowledgable in their area and understand the philosophy to explain it to you. Just like we learned in school no question is a bad one and if the staff of the school seems to be short and you feel that they are making you feel out of place that is not a good place for you and your child. I know that is not the question that you asked but it seems that it needed to addressed. Hope this helps I have been a teacher in an Montessori environment for 6 years and always encouage parens to look into the facility and gain knowledge in the philosophy. Good luck. :)
Trish - posted on 03/28/2011
Sure they can memorize pictures on a globe but what is the point when they can't understand the big picture of it all they don't grasp what a continent really is other than a photo on a globe they don't undertand that it would take a day to travel by plane to get to somewhere else or that it is "far away" to them far away is the grocery store, I just don't see the point of them learning that at all. I guess I just don't agree with the philosophy, I am more project construst and ages and stages.
Lou Anne - posted on 03/26/2011
I have a degree in Early Education. I currently work for Headstart that follows Developmentally Appropriate academics. We also follow a curriculum of Teaching Strategies which is all based on research information. I don't much about Montessori except the very little we learned about in college and much of it was based on one woman's beliefs very long time ago. Much more information has been learned since then not that a lot of her beliefs are used in the new thoughts of early education. As I stated I don't know much about the schools, but that when I once went to apply for a job at a Montessori School that stated that didn't care if I had an early childhood education degree, they only cared if I had a Montessori certificate. So, I went to find out about getting one and it cost was enormous and then most schools only pay teachers minimum wages. So, it left me with a very sour taste like it was a big gimmick to get money and is not based in real research and studies. This is the one reason I am opposed to vouchers I am afraid that the same will happen in schooling from k-12 that is happening in pre-school age childrens programs where their will be gimmick programs out there to just make money off of students and parents and teachers.
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