The Montessori View of the Child

Why I Love Montessori by Gina Abegg, A.M.S.

The Montessori View of the Child

It has been said that Montessori is a natural way of teaching, which means that it aligns with the nature of life. A Montessori classroom is more like a home than a school and relationships built between the directresses (or teachers) and children are more like those in a family. This all grows out of a supreme respect, even honor, of the spirit of each child, a cherishing of the individual inner curriculum he carries with him, and belief in his ability to discover and master the keys to the universe, the many lessons that will give him competence and independence.

The view of the child guides the relationship the adult has with him and also the
development of the materials and the environment. Montessori teachers see young children as egocentric, having a need to form themselves.Learning comes from the inside out. This is a powerful impulse, often compared to the energy that causes a flower to reach for the sun. To learn by movement and interaction with those tasks that are personally meaningful makes children happy. External rewards aren’t needed.

Young children, especially from about two and one half to four, have a strong need for order to create safety while moving into new experiences, so the rituals, materials placement, ground rules, and grace and courtesy lessons have simplicity, consistency and rhythm. Change occurs methodically. Children will notice new work on the shelf.

A related idea is that children learn by doing and through repetition and find joy in
mastery. Expanded concentration builds upon this meaningful work. Independence, helpfulness, and teaching are natural outcomes of competence.

Because the child we see is absorbing information directly, the progressive
presentation of materials helps him to organize his thinking and to perceive the totality as well as individual facts. This is also one of the reasons a mixed aged group is wonderful because children are learning from one another. Children are also learning through all of their senses so opportunities are given to enrich and name these experiences.

We also see that children are very sensitive to the stimulus they experience. We know they can actually have difficulty with too much stimulus, especially disorder, and that they are attracted to beauty. For this reason, we include fine art, beautiful books, textures, natural containers, attractive material, plants and animals. They learn well with simple, direct instruction.Children also appreciate real things and images, which help them make sense of their world.

Also, the child is most happy when he is able to contribute and cooperate, and is
sensitive to learning peaceful values and empathetic problem solving.