Over the past two Monday’s two of our wonderful teachers at RMS, Deb Dwyer & Di Edmonds presented at Murdoch University South St on Montessori Education.
The first talk was on the genius behind the method and how it is applied for the 3-6 year old child.
Deb Dwyer spoke about Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952), the person, and how the Montessori Education Program came to be. The Four Planes of Development of the child from birth to 24 years of age. She explained the terminology, such as absorbent mind, sensitive periods, follow the child, three part lessons, practical life, grace and courtesy, the pink tower, the thousand chain, the binomial cube and the cylinder blocks.
Deb explained in detail the 3-6 year program and how it is implemented, the significance of the lessons and the ultimate goal for each step. The 3 to 6-year-old child is undergoing a process of self-construction. Acquisition of one’s own first culture is the child’s central developmental drive in the first plane. The Children’s House environment serves this drive abundantly, bringing the world to the child. Globes, maps, songs, land forms, collections of pictures of life in different cultures, and much more is offered with the aim of helping the child to grow as an individual appreciating the larger context of their world.
The second talk was on The Montessori Method for the 6-12 year old child and a comparison with standard educational methods.
Di Edmonds covered the changes in the child in the second plane of development and how the classroom and the curriculum change to suit. The child at this level develops sensitive periods for imagination and abstraction through exploration. The lessons are presented in subject areas and in a way to stimulate the child’s imagination and to give them opportunity to explore areas of learning to suit their level of interest. She also talked about the five great stories and themes of the curriculum, the six main subject areas and the Fundamental Needs of Humans. Demonstration lessons were presented in Maths (multiplication), Language (grammar) and History (the Time Line of Life).
General classroom management and student behaviour was also discussed along with comparisons between regular schools and the Montessori setting.