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Follow the child


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The Montessori Method
Follow the child”
Theory

Maria Montessori believed that the environment in which a child found exploration in was crucial to the development of the child. The environment that is set up allows the child to learn independently or collaboratively with one another with little assistance from the classroom teacher. The prepared environment is especially designed to meet the age and needs of all learners within the class.


Why I selected this Curriculum Study

I have always been fascinated with the Montessori School. There have been several times in which I have passed by a Montessori school and wondered how their curriculum differed from ours that we teach within our classroom. In addition, we have several children that start out in the pre-primary Montessori classroom and then come into our kindergarten classrooms. I thought it would be beneficial to learn more about this curriculum to help guide me and my planning and instruction for those particular students.


Goal

The Montessori School’s goal is to help children succeed academically, emotionally, and socially to their highest potential. To do this, they teach children responsibility, citizenship, and how to function independently within our environment. As a result, the children create a positive self-image and the ability to face challenges with confidence.


Targeted Groups

The Montessori school that I observed targeted children ages three to twelve years of age. However, there are Montessori high schools that children age twelve to eighteen can attend.


Perspectives on Early Childhood/Key Elements

  • The prepared environment is crucial to a child’s development

  • The child learns from the environment instead of the teacher

  • Children work independently and collaboratively together

  • Mixed aged grouping to support periods of development

  • Children choose “work” based on interest and ability level

  • The child sets their own learning pace

  • Structured environment that teaches children towards independence

Impressions of the Program

I was amazed to see how much structure the Montessori classroom encompasses. It allows the children the freedom to learn toward mastery before moving on to harder concepts. I like the idea that this curriculum teaches children toward independence and I like the concept of “Follow the Child.” I wish that public school teachers had more of an opportunity to “follow the child” instead of “following a curriculum.” I think that sometimes we push children when they are not developmentally ready to learn particular concepts. This curriculum gives children the opportunity to learn at their pace and feel successful about learning.


Assessment

No grades are given in the Montessori school. The teachers assess by keeping an observation record on each child that they store in individual portfolios. To assess the child, the teacher looks at the children’s behavior, happiness, kindness to one another, love of learning, concentration, and work. No standardized tests are given until the child reach third grade.


Affiliated Authors and Researchers

Maria Montessori: Founder of the Montessori Method

J. McVicker Hunt: Resurrected the Montessori Method in the United

States in the early 1900’s

Mario Montessori: Maria Montessori’s son who served as president of

the AMI (American Montessori Internationale)

Dr. Mario Montessori, Jr.: Maria Montessori’s grandson who also served

as president of the AMI after the death of Mario Montessori in 1981


Reference List

  • Magazines: Tomorrow’s Child and Montessori Leadership

  • Seldin, T. (2007). How to raise an amazing child. Dorling Kindersley

  • Goffin, S. & Wilson, C. (2007). Curriculum models and early childhood education: appraising the relationship. New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall

  • An introduction to Montessori philosophy & practice. (2007, October 4)

  • Montessori, M. & Chattin-McNichols, J. (1995). The absorbent mind. New York: Henry Holt and Company

  • www.opmontessori.com

  • www.montessori.org

  • www.montessoribooks.com.au/books.htm


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