The Montessori method is a system of pedagogical education proposed by the Italian teacher, doctor, scientist Maria Montessori (the system has been put into practice since 1906).
The methodology is based on the individual approach of the teacher to the child: the child, throughout the entire training, chooses the didactic material and the duration of the lessons, developing in his own rhythm and direction.
The essence of the Montessori method lies in focusing on the needs, the ability of everyone, encouraging the desire to take part in the life of adults. The motto of this approach is: "Help me do it myself."
When a new phenomenon arises or appears in a society that is fundamentally different from generally accepted norms, it immediately becomes overgrown with rumors and myths, since there is not enough information about it. The same happened with Montessori pedagogy, which began to develop in Russia in the 90s.
Teachers working with the new method had to overcome misunderstandings and prejudices of officials, parents, and their colleagues. Therefore, people who are introducing a new approach to raising children can only remain calm and continue to work in order to prove the right of the method to exist by the fruits of labor. Let's consider what Montessori pedagogy is, and at the same time we will debunk some myths about it.
Montessori pedagogy is only for mentally retarded children. Not certainly in that way. Maria Motessori began her medical career in 1896. Her first patients were indeed children with developmental delay. Observing the children, Maria came to the conclusion that for all children, first of all, a special developing environment is needed, in which knowledge about the world will be reflected through standards. Montessori began to study the scientific work of the French psychiatrists Edouard Seguin and Gaspard Itard. As a result, I came to the conclusion that mental retardation is more of a pedagogical problem than a medical one. Maria Montessori, on the basis of the works of Edouard Seguin and her own experience, develops her own unique method of working with children with delay. Later she begins to study the pedagogy of working with healthy children. Montessori began to introduce his methodology in 1906. Her hypothesis about the possibility of the child's self-development was confirmed in practice. Maria Montessori's methods have a positive impact on the dynamics of development of both mentally retarded and healthy and even gifted children. The child comprehends the material at his own speed, and the teacher working according to the Montessori system helps him in this. Each individual approach is the main principle of the mentioned method.
Early learning is the goal of Montessori education. In groups, the child's interest in classes is constantly fueled, the child learns joyfully. Therefore, many children start to write and read quite early. But the goal, from the point of view of Maria Montessori, is the realization of the child's potential abilities, teaching independence, self-confidence.
Montessori pedagogy is not official; it is not a full-fledged substitute for generally accepted teaching. Yes it is. The Montessori technique is extra-programmatic. An individual approach is developed for each child, taking into account the needs and possibilities. In addition, the teacher does not try to teach and educate, but creates conditions for the full satisfaction of the student's needs. The child is completely immersed in the activity. At 4-5 years old, children who study using this method read and write, at 6-7 years old they easily perform mathematical operations with multi-digit numbers, make reports. Montessori graduates learn easily and can work independently.
The Montessori system originated in Italy and is not suitable for children of the post-Soviet space. For seventy years they brought up a "Soviet man" in us, punished us for the ability to think independently, depriving us of our individuality. It was then that this myth arose. In the Soviet Union, Montessori schools were closed (the first kindergarten according to the Montessori system began to work in 1913, and already in 1926 the People's Commissariat of Education of the USSR banned the use of the Montessori methodology) because Montessori pedagogy was positioned as alien to Soviet culture. In fact, this technique is outside the borders, the socio-political system, the level of culture, mentality and other imposed conventions. It was created and tested on children of different nationalities. And it is intended for the children of the whole world, first of all, to feel free from any conventions and barriers.
Montessori is an artificially created environment oversaturated with objects that cannot teach a child to live in the real world. The pedagogy of Maria Montessori is really environmental pedagogy. There are no basic teaching aids that are familiar to all of us: blackboard, desk, textbook. But the emphasis is on a variety of educational auxiliary material, both classical and self-made, which is able to satisfy the child's needs in studying the world around him, to help in acquiring the skills of reading, writing, mathematics, the development of fine motor skills, memory, concentration of attention, creative thinking, imagination, sensory feelings, as well as mastering the ability to work with material. In addition, the child learns to think independently and make his own choice, to be responsible for himself, to reckon with the opinions of others. It is this knowledge, abilities, and skills that will be useful to him in further social life.
In Montessori pedagogy, there is no creativity, almost no time is given to drawing, music, etc., only work with materials is carried out according to the given rules. No, it’s not. Children do everything not at the direction of the teacher, but based on their own needs: they draw, sculpt, etc. In addition, music classes are held in groups, in which children sing, dance, and play moments are used. Working with didactic material, children show creativity - after all, the teacher shows only the algorithm of action for the child's further independent work.
It is impossible to work simultaneously with children of different ages. The older ones will offend the younger ones or stoop to their level. Children of different ages study in groups. The technique is based on this. The Montessori group is a prototype of a family where the elders help the younger ones (after all, children in the family are also of different ages and this does not interfere with the development of each child). This is an additional incentive for the self-education of older students. After all, in order to show, teach a younger one, you yourself need to have certain knowledge and skills. And kids love the role of "teacher". In addition, the behavior of the older comrade in the learning process becomes a model for the younger ones. The child learns to play different social roles, not to enter into conflicts, this enriches his social experience.
Children in Montessori groups do not play. Play in the Montessori method is not denied as such - it means the process of knowing the world. Children really like doing what adults do in everyday life: washing dishes (imitating mom), hammering nails (as dad does), playing with household items (pots, pans, etc.), feeling their involvement in a meaningful adult activities. At the same time, the child develops responsibility, independence, and respect for things. Adults, on the other hand, try to transfer the child to the world of toys and wonder why children get bored so quickly. Of course, the child needs toys, but only for rest from the main activity. Therefore, in Montessori schools there are also corners with ordinary toys.
Montessori children have poorly developed speech, since the teacher speaks little. In the classroom, a sufficient amount of time is devoted to the development of speech. The teacher also makes various presentations, speaks figuratively, tries to expand the horizons and vocabulary of children. Then the child tries to reproduce it. The experience of public speaking, which a child gets in groups, helps him feel more confident, broadens his horizons, teaches him to express his thoughts clearly.
Maria Montessori did not like fairy tales, therefore she did not read them to children. It's true. At that time in Italy, fairy tales were rather peculiar: they did not have a happy ending, there was little kindness. Therefore, Mary gave preference to stories about the secrets of nature, flora and fauna, about the development of the world, which were based on scientific facts. In our culture, fairy tales teach a lot, they are kind and bright, therefore they are also used in the classroom along with scientific stories. This does not violate the principles of Montessori pedagogy.
Montessori children do not learn socialization skills, as they often learn autonomously. Practice shows that this is not the case. A child, practicing this method, becomes more sociable, balanced, friendly, quickly adapts to an unfamiliar environment, as children gain experience of different social contacts and activities.
On the one hand, children in the classroom behave in an unnaturally correct manner, like specially trained ones. On the other hand, in Montessori schools there is complete freedom, no rules. Maria Montessori billed this as "freedom-in-discipline." In the classroom, you can do anything that does not harm other children and the environment. Otherwise, there is complete freedom of action. The use of Montessori techniques makes children "hothouse", complicating their adaptation in the open world. To debunk this myth, it is enough to draw an analogy with a vegetable garden. A person germinates plants in a window, protected by a light and warm place. After transplanting the sprout into the ground, it successfully takes root. But if the plant were originally planted in the ground, then it is possible and would become stronger, but not all plants endure the hardships of the first moments of life. So it is with children. By raising them according to the Montessori method, educators actually prepare them for life, where children go out stronger, ready to face difficulties.
The use of Montessori techniques makes children "hothouse", complicating their adaptation in the open world. By raising them according to the Montessori method, educators actually prepare them for life, where children go out stronger, ready to face difficulties.