Family Magazine

Inspired by Montessori

By Maliasa
Inspired by Montessori

"The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth." Maria Montessori

Italian educator, Maria Montessori, believed that children learn best by doing. She designed material that foster independence and a love for learning. Maria believed that children will learn through play and discovery, rather than by instruction.

The ideas may be over 100 years old, but many of the founders of big companies today have been educated by this method, including Google's founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, videogame pioneer Will Wright, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and cook Julia Child. In January, Prince George followed his father#s footsteps and started a Montessori nursery in the UK. Today, it is rather difficult to get a place in a Montessori nursey in the UK.

I embrace many aspects of the Montessori approach to teaching, for example, that children learn by doing and that the material should be developed in a way that allows a child to ponder and explore different aspects. I love that play is at the core of activities and the idea that children are provided with the freedom to explore the world at their own pace.

A material that is often used in the Montessori classroom is animal classification cards. Children are asked to classify different animals into categories. Inspired by these cards I made some material where birds' feet, mammals' legs and feet, and animals' tails are studied. These materials have cards that can be used to classify the animals and also some activities where children are encouraged to use their observations and really do something. Build a machine, design a toy, or make up a dance.

Thinking should lead to action and these booklets inspired by Montessori's approach takes an active approach to thinking. These activities can be planned with other children and/or adults. I believe, in contrast to Maria, that teaching and learning is a mutual activity, where children, as well as adults, are learning together. Part of this material is challenging both for children and adults. I belive that this makes teaching more fun for the educators, and learning more exciting for the children.

You find the material here, here, and here. These booklets can be used in all types of classrooms as well as by homeschoolers.


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