Thursday, November 21, 2019

Maria Montessoris work Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

Maria Montessoris work - Essay Example Her methods are so popular that they are in use today in nearly every industrialized nation. In 1896 Maria Montessori became the first Italian woman to become a Doctor of Medicine. She then worked at a psychiatric clinic with mentally handicapped children. She became interested in ways to improve the mental capabilities and performance of these children. Her methods were so promising that she was then named the head of an entire school for mentally handicapped children in Rome. She was so successful using her own special equipment that her children were able to learn so much that they were able to pass tests created for 'normal' children. In 1906 she was "promoted to working with disorderly children in a very poor section of Rome. With her same new equipment, she produced the same results as she had with the mentally handicapped children. Here she noticed that when the children chose and worked with the equipment themselves, they were extremely focused on the task. Out of this grew the Montessori Method, which stresses giving the child freedom in his own educational process (Botsford, 1993). One of the main tenets of Maria Montessori's educational reform was the idea that the child operates in far different ways than the adult. Thus, research into the development of the child was paramount in developing and justifying her programs. She concluded that the child's mind develops differently at different ages. She calls the age of birth to six years as that of the Absorbent Mind. From birth to age three the child simply absorbs his environment unconsciously and begins constructing his conscious mind from there (Botsford, 1993). From age three to age six, the child begins to construct his personality, which Montessori claims, depends upon an "environment in which he or she can act and learn freely, without adult intervention" (Botsford, 1993, p.3). Further, Montessori describes several periods of the child's growth that become sensitive periods during which the "child is capable of extraordinary leaps in learning of different skills and bodies of knowledge. It is essential that the child should be able to maximise his or her potential during these sensitive periods, in order to develop as a full human being" (Botsford, 1993, p.3). In order to do this effectively, Montessori began to research child psychology and psychoanalysis. Because most child psychology researchers of the time stressed observation as a key element in learning about the distinct nature of the child, she began observing children as they played and learned. One book was particularly influential in nurturing Montessori's theories; it was Donald Hebb's 1949 "The Organization of Behavior. This book concluded that the richness of the early environment significantly aided in developing skills in adult problem solving (Lilliard, 1972). Also instrumental in Montessori's research was Freidrich Froebel, a scientist who advanced the idea that every child had the potential to use his environment as a means of developing emotions and of learning (Lilliard, 1972). Froebel urged educators to dismiss the idea of educating young children formall and instead allow them to play and develop holistically. Dissatisfaction with current pressures to introduce chil dren to formal learning at an early age has led to a growth of interest in the ideas of Froebel and of other pioneers who wanted to preserve childhood as a time for play and holistic development (Froebel, 2006). Thus, the curriculum at a

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.