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Montessori Method: the most scandalous myths

Montessori Method: the most scandalous myths

Maria Montessori gave her own son to an orphanage

Skeptical minded individuals are often confused by fans of the Montessori method, saying that its founder has given her son to an orphanage. If this is true, the question creeps in: what good could such unfeeling and cynical mother come up with for kids, who loved all children except her own? All this – only insulting rumors.

Offensive because utter slander spreads on the Internet only because the main sources of information are on Italian websites, and Google translator is not the best assistant in interlingual communication. In fact, Maria Montessori loved her only son Mario very much and did not want to part with him. The father of her child refused to marry her and put her before a choice: either he would give the boy his name and take him to his place, or they would give his son to an orphanage.

Maria Montessori chose the first option. Until the age of 15, the family was raised by the relatives of her former civil husband, and the boy’s father had never visited him during that time. Montessori saw her son at the weekend, but he did not realize that she was his mother, and called her “Aunt Marie.”

Fortunately, this story ended well: when Mario turned 15, he began to live with his mother, and later continued the work of her whole life and headed the Montessori movement. Mother and son traveled a lot around the world, worked together and lived in perfect harmony – isn’t this what all normal parents dream of?

So she illustrated the fruits of her scientific “experiments” with a personal example.

Montessori came up with her own method of education and development for children with disabilities, so these principles are not suitable for healthy kids.

Maria Montessori worked with children with mental disabilities until 1901, and the rest of the time, until her death in 1952, she worked with healthy babies. But the matter is not in some chronological calculations. One day, a group of backward children under the tutelage of Maria Montessori was taking exams at a Roman gymnasium in the presence of the Italian Minister of Education.

When they showed brilliant results, the official was delighted and asked with surprise: “What do you do that idiots turn out to be smarter than ordinary children?” To which Montessori immediately replied: “That you should think about what you are doing with normal children that they do not reach the level of idiots. ” In fact, in the 21st century, many years after this incident, we also have something to think about. For example, did you know that the class-less system that is used in ordinary schools was invented 400 years ago and was designed for monks, that is, for adults?

But if an adult can sit at a desk motionless for several hours in a row, then this is a real challenge for a child. To suppress the natural need to constantly move, children take a lot of energy, which is why the assimilation of information is much worse.

And this is a shame, because the speed of processing a new knowledge of a child is 60 times higher than that of an adult. It turns out that, by placing the children at the desks, we destroy all their potential with our own hands. And this is just one example of many that shows that the formal education system does not create the environment that is necessary for learning in a relaxed atmosphere and with burning eyes.

In the Montessori schools they know about it, so children, among other things, have the opportunity to move freely around the class.

Montessori material looks so intricate and strange that the child is only confused. Moreover, such objects in life does not exist, and this world is too artificial.

Many subjects in the field of view of the child during classes at Montessori centers were thought up by the founder of the doctrine herself. And this “artificial environment” is built on purely scientific principles. When creating the didactic material, Maria Montessori took into account the peculiarities of the development of children at different stages, and the algorithm that our brain follows every time when it is necessary to solve any problem.

It is important to help the child develop three essential skills: the ability to control his movements, the ability to analyze sensory stimuli and to think abstractly. For this, exercises that help children compare objects, look for a pair, notice coincidences and differences, find a given combination of signs, are very useful. The clearer the “learning” material is, the better and easier it will be to learn.

And the more the child “works” with his hands, the more actively fine motor skills and memory are trained. All these moments were taken into account by Maria Montessori, when she was developing the “pink tower”, “binomial cube”, “geometric chest of drawers” and everything else. The design of most work items is such that the task can be gradually complicated.

When the child goes to the next level, the child always decides for himself, therefore this environment is also called “auto-didactic” – it gives the child the opportunity to learn himself.

The Montessori method limits the child’s creative abilities, because the teacher forces the child to work with didactic materials according to strict rules.

The teacher in the Montessori environment never forces children to perform tasks, his task is to demonstrate the main principles of working with didactic material and literally move aside. Next, the child studies the possibilities of learning subjects independently.

And such an approach to learning creative ability, on the contrary, only develops. Every day, the child chooses an activity to his liking, intuitively and according to his mood. Nobody puts pressure on him, therefore, he feels confident.

No one controls him, so he always deals with the chosen matter with sincere interest. But creativity is based precisely on self-reliance and on the desire to create something new.

However, there are still limitations when working with didactic materials. The rules are simple.

First: each item has its own purpose, so the teacher will not allow the child to dice nails – there is a hammer for these purposes. We do not give the child to eat soup with a horn for shoes, and this does not surprise us. Rule two: respect others: your actions should not interfere with them.

And third: we must not destroy the world in which we live.

In different age groups, young children do not have the opportunity to develop leadership skills.

According to Montessori educators, this is the saddest delusion and the most implausible myth. Indeed, in the Montessori Gardens, groups of different ages, but the rules of behavior for all kids are the same.

This is the first condition necessary to eliminate unhealthy competition. In addition, every child, regardless of age, periodically has the opportunity to become “on duty in a circle” when he performs the function of “leader”, and all other children obey him and fulfill his requests. This role exchange system clearly demonstrates to children that healthy leadership is built on respect for others.

So they quickly learn to give in, negotiate, search for compromises, learn from someone else’s experience. And in the modern world all these skills are very necessary.

In Montessori Gardens, children do not play regular games, they always work with didactic material. As a result, they have poorly developed fantasy and communication skills.

In Montessori gardens, the schedule is the same as in normal. Children have time for ordinary games, naps and walks, but they actually do developmental activities for 2–3 hours a day. For these “exercises” there is a special name: “free work”.

In this way, children assimilate the idea that a game is an opportunity to live a make-believe for a moment, and you can always only work in earnest. And the result will be tangible: either you manage to do the job well, or not.

Thus, children from an early age are accustomed to work and self-discipline and learn to achieve their goals. And they assimilate the universal algorithm, which is necessary to perform absolutely any task.

It consists of 5 steps: first you need to decide what you will do, then prepare everything you need to work, then actually work hard, then check what happened well and what is not, and finally clean up after yourself. It is clear that all these skills to the child will be very useful in school and in adulthood.

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