SYLLABUS OF NCDC MONTESSORI THEORY 2- MONTESSORI PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION Unit 2 MONTESSORI PHILOSOPHY: DAY 3-4

Pre Home Assignments

Learning Activity 1: Read passage & Meditate: Should read the passage in this unit minimum 3 times. After reading each paragraph, close your eyes & think about the paragraph content for a few minutes. Also do the preparations for the Live Class Lesson Activities.

Learning Activities for Live Class Session:

Learning Activity 1: Face to face Interview: Two pupils sit face to face like a TV interview. One acts as Dr. Montessori. The other one asked questions to her about her Philosophy. After one round change the pair and continue practice.

Learning Activity 2: Skit: Make students in to 4 or 5 members groups and plan and present skits regarding ground rules to be followed in Montessori school – like putting things back in their places, working through a book page by page, completing a task, not disturbing others at work, walking softly in a classroom, asking for permission to use others materials, keeping their environment tidy etc.

Learning Activity 3: Pair Talk: Two pupils sit face to face and talk about- ‘there is a pain finding inner teacher in every child’ and discuss the ways of applying this idea in their classes. After one round change the pair and continue practice.

Learning Activity 4: Group Discussion:
“I hear – I forget
I see – I remember
I do – I understand
I discover – I become”
Discuss this subject by forming trainees into 5 or 6 members groups. One student can be the moderator of the Program.

Learning Activity 5: Speech: Write the 10 life lessons of Dr. Montessori in a small piece of paper. Fold or roll and keep them together. Let a trainee pick one from the lot as lotto pick and give a speech about the same for three minutes. Once it’s done, remove that from the lotto and continue the process with remaining trainees. One student anchoring the Program.

Learning Activity 6: Group Discussion: Arrange a Group Discussion like in TV. All students are participating in the discussion.
Round 1: Purpose and objectives of learning and practicing the content in this theory unit
Round 2: How to apply the knowledge and the ideas in this unit in your life, career and in society.

Learning Activity 7: Learning activity as per students’ choice. Conduct a learning activity as per the choice of lesson activities coordinating group.

Self-Home Assignments & with classmates:

Learning Activity 1: Self Speech in front of Mirror: Do a Self-Speech about 10 life lessons of Dr. Montessori in front of the mirror by following all the formalities and techniques of public speech.

Learning Activity 2: Face to face Interview: Two pupils sit face to face like a TV interview. One acts as Dr. Montessori. The other one asked questions to her about her Philosophy. After one round change the pair and continue practice. Faculty prepare the list & put it in the group.

Learning Activity 3: Pair Talk: Two pupils sit face to face and talk about- ‘there is a pain finding inner teacher in every child’ and discuss the ways of applying this idea in their classes. After one round change the pair and continue practice. Faculty prepare the list & put it in the group.

Learning Activity 4: Self Speech in front of Mirror: Do a Self-Speech regarding the below narration in front of the mirror by following all the formalities and techniques of public speech:

I hear – I forget
I see – I remember
I do – I understand
I discover – I become

Individual & pair learning activities as Post Home Assignments:

Learning Activity 1: Self Imaginary practice with closed eyes: Dr. Maria Montessori’s Ten Life Lessons.

Learning Activity 2: Make Chart: Write the Dr. Maria Montessori’s Ten Life Lessons in a Chart paper in an attractive way.

Learning Activity 3: Write Blog: Write a Blog regarding Montessori Philosophy & learn how to write Blog.

Introduction

The Montessori approach to education has a modern philosophy and a well-defined process and method. The elements of this method should be examined thoroughly in our efforts to change the present education system. The etymology of education is ‘to draw out, to rear’. However, instead of rearing or drawing out, we generally push in matters which are indigestible and large doses of information which destroy the innate energy and the personality of the child. The fundamental principles of Montessori methods need to be studied. It is correctly assumed that children enjoy learning and an environment is to be created to make it possible and easy for them to learn. The environment includes the teacher, the materials, the classroom and the different programs. The truth of the matter is that whatever children do is ‘play’. One of the many definitions of ‘play’ which suits us in the case is “to move aimlessly around, to deal or behave frivolously. The dictionary defines work as an “activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something” and also as “sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an object or result”. What is relevant here is that in a Montessori environment, the children are considered to be ‘working’.
We can see that children often do the latter whether they are learning how to work or are ‘playing’ in the Sand pit or learning to write. In fact when children are not given an opportunity to work, they resort to ‘play’. We as educators and parents declare the delinquent behavior as a type and wonder what to do! Helping children to follow their inner instincts to achieve and enjoy challenges – Physical, Cognitive or Conceptual – the process should enable them to make their own discoveries rather than to be ‘informed’. This can be explained by a simple narration given below.

I hear – I forget
I see – I remember
I do – I understand
I discover – I become

This maxim is alright but in a classroom what happens is that the teacher does most of the talking. It is natural that children forget and there is no actual learning or discovering involved.

Teaching and learning in all schools is old fashioned. Daily lessons involve learning things by heart and reciting them parrot fashion after the teacher. This style of teaching was aptly known as ‘chalk and talk’. It is hardly surprising that the children lost concentration and learned little. To discover the concept of zero, an aid is specifically designed to tempt children to ask “why is there nothing against zero?” This indicates that they are on the verge of discovering that Zero means ‘nothing’ numerically. So children work with materials to understand and discover patterns, in sensorial areas, mathematics or in any other aspects of the world around us.

We have a lot of different and various findings and theories on how children ‘learn’ but these ideas are yet to filter down to actually benefit the child. Piaget’s work with children across the world has established in no uncertain terms that learning has to move from the concrete to the abstract. That information will be transformed into knowledge only if tendered in the contextual frame of the learner. This has been bypassed by the practitioners totally and children are taught the alphabet without oral fluency in English, or for that matter, the digestive system of Cow without understanding their body system. Text books contain very many examples of this type of short-sightedness. Information is dumped on the learner without taking into account his/her life context. Thus information remains just that soon to be forgotten, rather than knowledge which can be applied to life. In Montessori system, it is believed that each child has an inbuilt development process which unfolds as the child continues to interact with his environment and education opportunity offered. Emotive and academic milestones are laid down, broadly corresponding to the age of the child. Each child progresses is uniquely and at its own pace. To successfully convert this idea into a component of method, the individual child is considered a unit of reference. Learning situations and materials are offered to the child on a one-to-one basis or in a small group rather than unloading everything on a ‘uniform’ horde of children.

Like this, children learn and achieve much more and continue to be interested in academic work. Children between 4 and 5 years of age start writing spontaneously, can work with numbers and quantities in 1000’s, can do additions and multiplications with concrete material, can work on their own without the teacher prompting them all the time. There is a pain finding an inner teacher in every child. She is so skillful that she obtains identical results in all children in all parts of the world.

In Montessori schools, children even at the pre-primary and primary stages, are guided to understand that if they have to be in a social group there are certain ground rules to be followed – like putting things back in their places, working through a book page by page, completing a task, not disturbing others at work, walking softly in a classroom, asking for permission to use others materials, keeping their environment tidy and so on. These are not a set of rules and regulations ruled out to children in the moral science class but an integral part of their life.

In Montessori schools to make the philosophy of social education a practice, children are introduced to activities like sweeping, mopping, cutting vegetables, pouring water, polishing brass objects, using a spoon and fork, greeting people etc. These are essential life skills which help them to achieve a social maturity. All children are also assisted to work independently without a teacher constantly moving around. This enables them to act on their own style, which is far from “doing whatever they want”. They are helped to choose activities according to their readiness, intellectual or otherwise. We expect our children to choose a career at the age of 18 or so, but unless this ability to choose is developed early how can they be expected to make a life choice?

Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder of this ability to choose is developed early, how can they be expected to make a life choice?

Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder of this process of education, often said that “Education was like giving crutches to build a child who can run”. Can we as educators and parents remove the crutches and burdens to enable children to work at their development process so that they can become integrated persons? Children are considered as merely empty pots or the pall bearers of our deadening, retarded, education goals.

All children are endowed with the capacity to absorb culture, reading, writing, botany, zoology, mathematics, geography, etc. easily and spontaneously. Montessori Method has influenced educators, progressive schools and even national systems of education all over the world.
The Montessori Method gives the presently Indian system of education a framework which aims at helping a child to achieve excellence through his personal potential. It encourages the teacher to be a catalyst at the various stages of a child’s growth. It is fine tuned to the needs of a child to develop creativity rather than producing one dimensional Citizen who learn by rote and live as sheep. Thus the new generation would become patriotic citizens and integrated personalities.

In India, we have been rather too slow in welcoming and following the Montessori system. We have thousands of traditional common nursery schools, but so far only a few Montessori schools or Montessori houses of children. India ought to shine at least by 2020. Therefore, let us all follow this system at home and in pre-primary schools.

Dr. Maria Montessori’s Ten Life Lessons.

1. Adults must have a better understanding of what childhood is.
2. Adults should learn from children instead of forcing children into adult ways.
3. The Children’s world is a better world. They have a right to live their-in.
4. It is wrong to teach children without respect for their view-point‘
5. Children learn best in a happy atmosphere where they have freedom to control their activities.
6. We should listen to critics and be prepared even to alter the basic beliefs.
7. Children are eager to learn from birth. They enjoy finding out for themselves and their ability to learn can be improved by a better environment.
8. We should have bright classrooms, child sized furniture, educational games, learning by discovery, teachers who listen to children etc.
9. Love what you do, and do what you love.
10. The Child is the father of Man.

Module Developed by: Baba Alexander

Share