Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Why Montessori Is So Much More Than an Educational Method

There is often too much emphasis put on materials and activities of the Montessori method and not enough on the beautiful philosophy behind it.

As Hainstock explains in the Essential Montessori, parents tend to become “obsessed with the mystique of the materials and the results promised through them, and do not pay due attention to the commitment of philosophy which is the core of the method.”

First of all, I am not immune to getting caught up in the materials. 

And I am, in no way, saying they are not valuable.

The materials of the Montessori method are incredibly beneficial, as they are the results of extensive observation, research, and study that went into discovering what children need to develop to their highest potential.

However, if we are to think of the Montessori method the way Maria Montessori intended, we need to go to the heart of what she studied and start there.

A Help to Life

Maria Montessori did not like to refer to her findings as a method, as she believed it to be so much more than an educational system. 

She preferred to refer to her method as “a help to life.”

When she was asked what method was used to obtain the results seen in the children of her Children's Houses, she said there was "no method to be seen, what was seen was the child. A child's soul. free from impediments was seen according to it's own nature." [Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood, pg 136]

The Hope for the Future

A major characteristic of those desiring to help children in the way Maria Montessori hoped, is to have a respect for the child's personality carried to a point never reached before.

Montessori guides are meant to study the child and discover his true nature, so as to create an environment that will nurture the child's natural gifts. Only then do the materials and activities come in.

This kind of guide will:

  • help the child to develop according to his specific personality
  • help the child avoid obstacles which would repress growth
  • help the child become who they are meant to be
  • help the child adapt to his culture and time
  • help the child to help himself and develop confident independence
  • help the child become a well-functioning member of his society
  • help children develop a healthy sense of worth and purpose

Maria Montessori believed that children are the hope of the future, and realized that, given the freedom, respect, and independence so often denied of them, children were able to reach a higher potentiality than ever expected.

She knew that children treated this way would be capable of making the world a more peaceful and beautiful place in the future.

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. I would also love to hear any suggestions for posts you would like me to write about. And if you are interested in following along in our daily adventures, follow us on Instagram where I post daily.

God bless,
Olivia Fischer

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