Preschool Philosophy- Montessori System of Education

montessori system of education

“The child is both, a hope and a promise for mankind” – Maria Montessori

Education. A necessity of humans which can’t be put into words. It has played a major role in shaping the minds of young aspirants. Talking about young blood and the current educational scenario, we must not forget the Montessori system of education, which has played a very vital role in nurturing the process of pre-school education in an efficient manner.

We may discuss about the approach followed by the Montessori system of education, and analyse it through every aspect. Talking about its origin, it is an educational system developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori which lays emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.

It focuses majorly in a whole hearted human development, where emphasis is laid on the emotional, physical and psychological development of the child where they have the liberty to choose and act freely within an environment, for optimal development.

Certain principles in this model are given primary importance, such as, exploration, activity, order, orientation, purposeful activity etc. Montessori system of education focuses on free activity within a “prepared environment”, in other words, an environment tailored specifically for basic human wants and needs, and those of children at different ages, not forgetting the individual personalities the children possess. The sole purpose of the environment is to help and allow the child to develop independence in every term according to his or her inner psychological potential.

Focussing the impact of this system on India, our country was one of the first few countries to see the propagation and implementation of this system. The Indian Montessori Organisation is one such initiative taken up by the Indian officials in expanding awareness about the Montessori philosophy in the Indian educational system. Click here to see some of the preschools that have successfully adopted the Montessori system of education.

And therefore, with the introduction of the newly implemented ECCE policy, the Indian pre-primary education has made a significant progress, which has its focus upon early childhood education and its importance in the development process of a child. When focussing upon India, there are many centres and institutes offering courses to train educators in the Montessori system of education.

While discussing the impacts and issues related to this system of education, let us first discuss and know the importance of this system. The Montessori System of Education is known to be the most scientifically advanced, comprehensive in nature, and an efficient and effective humane system of early childhood education and development.

Montessori system of education helps in guiding children in their day to day activities by trained Adults. These trained adults are basically individuals who are trained in the Montessori ideology, playing an extremely vital role in the development process of a child’s personality and intellectual upliftment. This method effectively portrays the issue of building self-confidence of a child. As it is an extremely known and important fact that self-confidence is something which should be inculcated within a child early in life.

Teaching children with Interaction

Theoretically, at the time of their birth, a child knows absolutely nothing. Apart from a survival instinct, which is apparently one of the best gifts imbed upon each one of us by the almighty, children are a blank slate – waiting to be written. Though, however overwhelming it might sound, but the fact is everything our child will learn will be from what we teach. Moreover, the truth is, the learning cycle is never-ending as there are a plethora of opportunities to learn from. Starting from the toys and music which surround a child since their birth to development of different parts of their brains. One cannot hide from the fact that a parent is child’s one of the primary teachers. It’s a responsibility which one cannot run away from and has to be fulfilled with utmost consideration.

One thing that I have experienced over the years is that to make a child familiar with various concepts and intricacies of the subject, they have to be involved with in lessons. Learning, or for that matter almost any activity, should be interactive. For instance, teaching a child how to kick a ball requires a primary effort from the parent where they initiate by kicking the ball themselves, or developing a child’s reading habit can only be nurtured by parents constantly reading out a story to their children.

Learning a second language – in this global world, where children are always competing with each other to learn new skills – is always beneficial for a child. In addition to that, with more youngsters choosing to study abroad, learning a second language will always be advantageous for them in the latter stages of their career. It is not to say that these things are easy for parents to adjust to, however, if they have the zeal to teach their child, any effort won’t go wasted. And, it is still a parent’s responsibility and job to find a way for their child to interactively learn new language.

In early childhood settings, each moment that parents and children interact with one another is an opportunity to develop positive relationships. Parents can use a variety of strategies to build positive relationships with children. Actions such as listening to children, making eye contact with them, and engaging in many one-to-one, face-to-face interactions with young children promotes secure parent-child relationship. Talking to children using pleasant, calm voices and simple language, and greeting children warmly when they arrive help establish secure relationships between parents and a child. It is paramount for parents to use developmentally and exclusive strategies that take into consideration children’s differing needs, interests, styles, and abilities. For instance, with infants and toddlers, by responding to their cries or other signs of distress, parents let children know they care about them, and are always there to support them.

For parents, teaching children with interaction and everything they need to be prepared for their own life, is a big responsibility and one to be taken very seriously. We have to take that and do all we can to teach our child as much as possible. Each day comes in with its own set of challenges but the sight of our child succeeding in life or comprehensively learning a new skill is a feeling not to be undermined by any individual.