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This module introduces you to the life and works of Dr. Maria Montessori, her method and its key components.

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This module introduces you to the Life and works of the founder Dr. Maria Montessori. It includes detailed lessons on her biography, her method, discoveries, and educational philosophy.  Following are the major topics covered in this manual.

1. Life and Works of Dr. Montessori, Her Method, and Philosophy

2. A Short Biography of Dr. Maria Montessori

3. Discoveries Made by Dr. Montessori 

4. Sensitive Periods

5. The Key Concepts in Montessori Education ( The Absorbent Mind, The Spiritual Embryo, Freedom of Choice, Prepared Environment, Focus on INdividual Progress, Mix-Age Group, Concerete to Abstract, Control of Error, Discipline, Practical Life Exercises, Importance of Movement, Concentration & Normalization, Peace Education and Work & Play. 

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Course Currilcum

    • Introduction to the Course 00:10:00
    • Read Module 1 Online (e-copy) 00:05:00
    • Unit 1: Journey to Casa dei Bambini FREE 00:45:00
    • This unit narrates the story of Dr. Maria Montessori early years and her educational achievements.
    • Unit 2: The Discovery of the Child by Maria Montessori 00:20:00
    • Unit 3: Montessori Movement’s Prime Time, Decline and Revival Unlimited
    • Quiz – Introduction to Montessori 00:40:00
    • Unit 4: Why Send Children to a Montessori House of Children Unlimited
    • Unit 5: The Fundamental Principles of Montessori Method Unlimited
    • Unit 6: Sensitive Periods Unlimited
    • Unit 7: Importance of Movement in Child Development Unlimited
    • Assignment Module 1: Introduction to Montessori 1 month, 1 week

Course Reviews


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  1. Lê Thị Như ÝMay 16, 2024 at 3:26 pm


    Montessori was born on 31 August 1870 Ancona, Italy. Her father’s name was Alessandro Montessori and he was a conservative military man. On the other hand, her mother, Renidle Montessori, was a liberal lady and supported Maria’s educational pursuit. Her father’s frequent transfers gave Maria a chance to have education in big cities throughout Italy.
    Almost whole of Europe, in those days was very conservative in its attitude toward and treatment of women. Italy was no exception but Montessori pursued medical and scientific education. Despite many years of opposition from her father, teachers, and male fellow students, she graduated with highest honors from the Medical School of the University of Rome, becoming the first woman physician in Italy in 1896. Thus, Montessori holds the title of being the first lady doctor in the history of Italy
    Montessori was always unwilling to enter education as a career as it was one of the three traditional roles open to women at that time: working with children, homemaking or the convent.
    In 1900, Montessori was appointed director of the new Orthophrenic School attached to the University of Rome, formerly a municipal asylum for the”deficient and cru insane” (special) children of the city, most of whom would be diagnosed in the twenty-first century autistic or mentally disabled.
    Montessori set out to teach as many as possible of the less-disturbed children to care for themselves and their fellow inmates. From 1900 to 1901), Montessori got inspired by the work of two almost forgotten French doctors of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: Jean-Marc-Gaspard ltard and Edouard Séguin. Itard is well known even today for his work with the “Wild Boy of Aveyron”, a young boy who was found by some hunters wandering naked in the forest.
    Montessori drew further confirmation of Itard’s ideas from the work of Edouard Séguin, a French psychologist who was a student of Itard and carried on his research. His work, however, was far more specific and organized. Montessori studied her mentally disabled patients with utmost zeal. She kept on trying Seguin’s educational method, and carefully noted their response to her attempts as well as their progress in becoming increasingly independent and verbal.
    She almost startled the whole world when many of these mentally disabled children, after two years, were able to pass the standardized exams given by the Italian public schools.
    She challenged that if she could attain such results with children who were disableed. Schools should be able to get dramatically better results with normal children.
    Montessori’s work strengthened her humanistic ideals, and people began to regard her as a reformer. Montessori become well known and highly regarded throughout Europe, which contributed to the publiccity that surrounded her schools, startad just a little later.
    In 1907, when she was offered the position of a the medical director for a day-care center that was being organized for working-class children who were too young to attend public schools, named Casa dei Bambini (House of Children) was inaugurated in 1907 and was located in the worst slum district of Rome. There were about fifty aggressive, impatient and cranky children aged from 2 to 5 years who were products of poverty and ignorance. There was only one untrained teacher to care for them. The children stayed at the school from morning till evening and were provided with two meals, regular bath and medical care. Under such circumstances, Montessori doubted about the success of her methodology However, she, not caring about the odds, began by teaching the older children how to help with daily tasks. She also introduced them the materials she used with special children. Her journey to discover the child started. The changes in the students surprised her. They began to show longer periods of constructive activity The children also expressed interest and tremendous progress in the exercises of practical life and other academic areas like mathematics, reading, writing, geometry… The wild children became more independent, confident and self- respected. The house was soon be taken care of by the older children. The discipline problems vanished dramatically. Montessori studied the children like a scientist. She observed them, hypothesized, experimented new things and noted every response. The children revealed their true nature to her and she knew how to teach them.
    She believed that inner strong urges existed inside each child and encouraged him to select the activities appropriate for his development. Nature, itself encourages children to select the activities, which are appopriate for development at that stage. To her, a child who fails in school should not be blamb.
    Montessori discovered that her children showed more interest in academic manipulatives rather than toys.
    Children read and do advanced mathematics in Montessori schools not because we push them, but because this is what they do when given the correct setting and opportunity. To deny them the right to learn because we, as adults, think that they should not is illogical and typical of the way schools have been run before.
    She, instantly, recognized that the children were capable of selecting their own work.
    Maria Montessori’s first Casa Dei Bambini became famous on the entire world in a very short span of time.
    After the success of her first school, she started the second one and then the thirt and so on. Her system worked everywhere in so many different settings.
    In the first thirty years of the twentieth century, the Montessori Method seemed to offer something for everyone. The number of Montessori schools soared up to d 1000 by 1925 and many tens of thousands more around the world. But things took a dramatic turn by 1940. However, since 1960s, there is a surprising revival and resurgence of Montessori movement in America.
    During her life time we may rank the period from the opening of the first Children’s House in 1907 until the 1930s as her prime productive period. She even gave up her medical practice and devoted herself to her mission of regenerating mankind. During her lifetime, Montessori was acknowledged as one of the world’s leading educators.
    Maria Montessori was pictured on the Italian 200 lire coin and through the 1990s on the 1000 lire bill. She was also nominated for Nobel Peace Prize thrice.
    Although Dr. Maria Montessori has left the world for 64 years (on May 6 th 1952 in Netherlands), she is immortal through her educational philosophy. Her methodology is still helping and will continue to help children all over the world to become the meant – to – be adults by themselves. Her lifetime was in the 20 th century but her ideals are much more a head of her time.

    Montessori, now, being intoxicated by the new zest of her life, the desire to implement her
    method on normal children, began to look out for an opportunity to work with normal children. Unfortunately, the Italian Ministry of Education did not welcome Montessori’s ideas, and she was denied access to school-aged children. However, the opportunity came to her itself in 1907, when she was offered the position of a the medical director for a day-care center that was being organized for working-class children who were too young to attend public schools.
    This first day-care center, named Casa dei Bambini (House of Children) was inaugurated in 1907 and was located in the worst slum district of Rome, and the conditions Montessori faced were horrendous. There was only one untrained teacher to teach her first class which consisted of fifty children, from two through five years of age. It was an extended day school and the children remained at the center from morning till evening while their parents worked. The children were also given two meals per day, bathed regularly, and given a program of medical care. The children themselves were the products of extreme innercity poverty conditions and ignorance of the parents. Almost all of them came to Children’s House on the first day crying and reluctantly. Most of them were aggressive, impatient and cranky. At this stage, Montessori did not know if her experiment would work under such conditions. However, she, not caring about the odds, began by teaching the older children how to help out with the everyday tasks that needed to be done. She also introduced the hand-on materials of perceptual discrimination and puzzles and eyehand manipulative exercises that she had used with mentally disabled children.
    Montessori must have had some hope of success but the results surprised her. The materials seemed to be working miraculously. Unlike her mentally challenged children who had to be pushed to use her apparatus, the normal children were naturally attracted to the work she introduced. The aimless street wanderers began to settle down. They began to show longer and longer periods of constructive activity. They were fascinated with the puzzles and perceptual training devices.
    Montessori introduced exercises of practical day to day living like cleaning, dressing, gardening, etc. and to her amazement, children aging three and four years took the greatest delight in learning practical everyday living skills. She noticed that such activities made them more independent and added to their self-respect. Their interest was developing day by day and they progressed so rapidly that each day they pleaded Maria to show them more. The older children began to take care of the school. They also assisted their teachers with the preparation and serving of meals and the maintenance of a spotless environment. The decipline problems vanished dramatically.
    The children running wild in the street had turned to models of grace and courtesy in just a short span
    Montessori, when criticized of her method being too structured and academically demanding of young children, laughed out saying, “l followed these children, studying them, studied them closely, and they taught me how to teach them.” Talking about the role of the teacher, she argued that the educator’s job is to serve the child, determining what each student needs to make the greatest progress. She believed that children follow their inner strong urges to select their activities and work. These urges are universally similar in all children and are the product of millions of years of evolution. Nature, itself encourages children to select the activities, which are appropriate for development at that stage. To her, a child who fails in school should not be blamed, any more than a doctor should blame a patient who does not get well fast enough. Just as it is •the job of the physician to help people find the way to cure themselves, it is the educator’s job to facilitate the natural process of learning.
    Montessori’s children showed $remendous progress into academics and each achievement was like a sudden explosion. The children were too young to be sent to public schools, yet they literally begged to be taught how to read and write. They learned to do so quickly and enthusiastically, using special manipulative materials. Montessori just kept on noticing the inclinations of the children and developed manipulatives accordingly. The other area, which fascinated the children, was numbers. To respond to their interest, the mathematically inclined doctor developed a series of concrete math learning materials. These
    materials are so comprehensive and yet concrete in nature that they still fascinate many mathematicians and educators to this day. It did not take those three, four and five years old long to start adding and subtracting four-digit numbers. They further progressed on to multiplication, division, skip counting, and increasingly advanced and abstract concepts.
    Montessori discovered an unlimited potential in children to learn. They began to show interests in other areas as well. This compelled the already overworked doctor to spend night after night designing new materials to keep pace with the children in geometry, geography, history, and natural science. Montessori discovered that her children showed more interest in academic manipulatives rather than toys. She made this discovery shortly after her first school opened, when a group of well-intentioned women gave the children a collection of lovely and expensive toys. The children took profound interest in those new gifts for a few days, but they soon returned to their learning materials. She also found that children generally preferred work over play, at least during the school day.
    “Children read and do advanced mathematics in Montessori schools not because we push them, but because this is what they do when given the correct setting and opportunity. To deny them the right to learn because we, as adults, think that they should not is illogical and typical of the way schools have been run before.’

    Montessori method wasn’t so perfect since day one. She improved it through trial and error. She continued to observe the children deeply, made
    educated guesses and finally experimented. For example, one day the teacher arrived late at the center. The children, meanwhile, had crept in through the window and started their work. They even took the material themselves from the cupboard, which normally used to be locked, but was open activities were always available to the children. This seems to be a small change, but it actually was against all the educational theories and practices of that time.


    The very first Montessori school Casa Dei Bambini which was much different from the Montessori houses of children today. There was only one untrained teacher to help Dr. Maria Montessori to take care of about aggressive, impatient and cranky children aged from 2 to 5 years who were products of poverty and ignorance of parents. They had to care for them from morning till evening, provide them with two regular bath and medical care. Certainly, the house was not equipped meals, with such child-size furniture or educational materials that are often seen in a typical Montessori environment. Montessori also had no idea of a stipulated methodology of education. The conditions she had to face was horrendous but things started there. It was where she began to discover the true nature of the child observation and Montessori applied a scientific approach through experimentation to study the child. She observed their behavior, studied the relevant conditions and recreated such conditions in various parts of the world. She came to a conclusion only when she found that children acted in a certain manner under certain circumstances without any interference from the adults. Her discoveries are true for every child despite the differences in culture, geography or living standards. After nearly 22 years of observing and testing, she insisted that she had found a methodology to help children in their educational pursuit. Below are some of her discoveries.
    Inner need for freedom and constructive work. Montessori was compelled to believe that children love to do constructive work provided it suited the age and stage of developmet. She observed that the children worked with great interest and repeated the activities on their own to reach a state of concentration.
    Ability to Select Activities: the children are capable of choosing their own activity suitable to their capacity.
    Children love to work purposefully. They work out of a natural drive, which makes them select and concentrate on tasks which are appropriate for development.
    The inner drive is sufficient. Total development is possible only when the child can work in various fields of human activity at specific times, whose awareness and urge comes to him naturally. Montessori teachers/guides are not even allowed to give rewards to children for the possibility of children beginning to work for incentives ignoring their inner urge to do work on some other activities.
    When something that answers the inner needs meets the child’s eyes spontaneous interest is kindled. When this interest finds suitable conditions to work spontaneous repetition is the result. When the spontaneous repetition of an activity is done with interest the natural result is concentation.
    Very young children need order for their development.
    Normality depends on all the human powers working in unison, in collaboration. Very often children deviate from this normality because they do not find the conditions necessary for their development. Dr. Montessori says that during the early childhood it is possible to rectify any developmental errors and bring the child back to normality. The rectification can be made possible only by the child’s working individually at the developmental freedom. Activity was essential.
    Activities involving sensorial concepts, language, arithmetic, art, culture were found to be necessary for the child’s education. The introduction of the exercises of practical life as developmental activities was Dr. Montessori’s contribution to education. She found out how the children needed to perform these activities especially because they brought the intelligence, will and voluntary movements of the personality to the child. Dr. Montessori realized that these activities were very well understood by the children and mobilized their intelligence to the fullest participation.
    The children showed that they could assimilate the knowledge, normally considered to be too complex for the child, if it is presented in rightful conditions.
    She discovered that real discipline comes through freedom. This suggested that discipline must come from within and not imposed from outside because true discipline is born in freedom. Freedom and discipline are two faces of the same coin.
    Real obedience is based on love, respect and faith When obedience leads to inner satisfaction it becomes real obedience and hence it leads to real development.
    Dr. Montessori discovered that the children are often seen to behave in a certain manner destructive, disorderly, stubborn, disobedient, etc. but in specially prepared environments and with specially trained adults they show orderly, responsible, loving behavior… both are seemingly real. She called this normality.
    Most of the activities presented to the children in Montessori houses of children are results of observing the child.
    All the help we offer should lead the child to independence in his individual and social life. “Help me do it Myself” is what every child wants to tells us.
    Montessori discovered that the environment itself was all important in obtaining the results that she had observed.
    Montessori further studied the traffic pattern of the rooms, arranging the furnishings and the activity area to minimize congestion and tripping. The children loved to sit on the floor, so she bought little rugs to define their work areas and the children quickly learned to walk around work that other children had laid out on their rugs.
    Montessori carried environmental engineering building the school and outside environment, designing child-sized toilets and low sinks, windows low to the ground, low shelves, and miniature hand and garden tools of all sorts.
    Montessori Method bases itself on these and various other discoveries Dr. Montessori made while she worked with children. We might conclude by saying that Dr. Montessori calls upon every human being to develop the humanity to learn from the child in order to create a healthy human being.
    Montessori once said that “I followed these children, studying them, studied
    them closely, and they taught me how to each them.” As a keen and patien
    observer, she found the “golden potentials” hiding deeply beneath the child.

    The term sensitive periods was used for the first time by a Dutch geneticist Hugo de Vries during his work with the developmental stages in animals. The term was adopted by the Italian educator Maria Montessori and she used it to refer to important periods of childhood development. The idea seemed hard to digest at that time, and took many years to get accepted in psychology only after Piaget’s elaborated Montessori’s initial explanation.
    She noticed her children developing in specific areas tremendously at specific times. She hypothised that this sudden speed up in the learning process during specific times is due to the development of specific areas of the human brain which she called nebulae. She further discovered that this was more common in children aging 0 — 6 years. During such periods the child is particularly sensitive to certain types of stimuli and repeatedly concentrates on tasks which provide such stimuli or experiences. She also found that such periods overlap each other, which means that a child may begin to get or get sensitive towards another type of stimuli while going through one period. She described these as “sensitive periods”
    Montessori found that during a sensitive period it is very easy for children to acquire certain abilities, such as language, discrimination of sensory stimuli, and mental modeling of the environment. After the sensitive period for a particular ability has passed away, then the development of the brain has passed the point when information can simply be absorbed automatically. In other words, after the elapse of a sensitive period for specific ability the child must then be taught that ability with conscious expenditure of efforts, however, the result still can’t be as great as if the sensitive period was utilized properly.
    Montessori was not very specific in her published works about the precise number, description, or timing of these sensitive periods. She believed, adults should observe the behavior and activities of children to discover what sensitive periods they are in. However, in her lectures during teacher training programs she set out several periods with the approximate ages to which they applied. According to her there are eleven different sensitive periods occurring from birth through age six.
    1. Sensitive periods for Language (0 – 6 years)
    Use of words to communicate: a progression from babble to words to phrases to sentences, with a continuously expanding vocabulary and comprehension.
    Humans are not born with the language of their species like other animals, a cat that when born has meow and can communicate with other cats. But humans cannot do that. And to reach the human language, the child has worked hard for the first 6 years of his life.
    1.1. 0-4month old
    Absorption of Human Speech – Auditory Discrimination: The baby from the mother’s womb was able to hear and feel the voice. With the intellect of absorption, the child absorbs everything from the environment, but at this stage, the child is guided by a period of sensitive language, so he listens to all the sounds of human speech, receives speech, intonation, distinguish the voice.
    Turning the head toward the speaker: The child may turn his head to the source of the sound. In a space with lots of noises, if a person’s voice suddenly comes out, they will turn in that direction. When we talk to the child, he turns his head to our face. There was an experiment: one held the baby and another rang the bell, the child did not come back. But if the bell rings with a human voice, the child will come back. Children are sensitive to language during this period.
    Watching the mouth and lips to study how sounds are created: When born, the baby’s eyes are very close, about 25cm. And when mothers breastfeed, breastfeed directly, the distance from the child’s face to the mother’s face is about 25cm. And from that distance, when the mother talks, the baby will intently look at her mouth, observe the lips movement as she talks. The child’s vision gradually goes further. But children always look at mouth and lip’s movement when they see other people talking, and they reach their hands to their lips and their hands into their mouths. The child is learning how humans make sounds. Later, when the child receives enough, the child will practice making sounds from his mouth.
    Placing pacifiers, bottle-feeding, not exposing children to human language by talking directly … hinder language development in children.
    1.2. 4 – 9month old
    After 4months, the child understands the movement of the lips and he is start make some sound, it not words yet, its call babbling. The more relaxed, happy and alert the baby, the more babbling they will make.
    Now the child around 5months he will hear the name and he will try to make all the sound of the human spoken language that he can hear but still sound pointless.
    As the parent or the adult, we should interact with them when we haves breastfeed, shower, dressing.

    1.3. 9-12month old
    In 9m, children start making their own sounds with intent but only the first syllabus of sound. When the child makes a sound, it shows that he wants to communicate with his voice. the child can make some vowel sounds (a, o)
    After 9m, the child will l realize what other sound in mother tongue is used and stop making the nonsense sound.
    Now, it’s the time the child learns all the tones voice, he realizes each tones has different meaning. It’s time to pronounce the word to the child, “head, ears, mom, dad, dog, go ….”. Should introduce lots of nouns.
    Attention adults always say the full sentence even though the child cannot repeat.
    Bring to the young child poem, music, song, rhythm …
    In the first year, the child tries to pronounce words, sometimes words with two syllables, and words with meaning.
    1.1. 12 – 24month old
    15 – 18months children use one or two words instead of sentences, for example, “mom, I want to drink water”, I will say “water”.
    The child understands every day, familiar communication situations. Understand the meaning of familiar sentences, even though you cannot speak the whole sentence.
    About 20 months and more: The child can say the words that fit the situation on his own, not the words of an adult.
    the child can say sentences with 3 words: “mom, go out” ….
    1.2. 2 – 4,5year old
    2 years old: learning phrases and structure, he can express himself and what he wants. The child uses the correct context, expresses his will through words. The child can use words, cum words and sentences. The child uses language a lot more actively than in the previous stage.
    2.5 years – 3 years: 10,000-15,000 words. The child’s language is developing rapidly, this is the beginning of the age of 2.5 to 3.5 years of language boom for children.
    About 3 years old, the child can almost communicate as the adult.
    The child needs the environment to enrich his vocabulary. adults need to communicate a lot with children, create different situations in communication, add more vocabulary ….
    A child who understands language is the sound of things, sounds of thoughts, sounds that make sense. And the language used to communicate, to express feelings, express desires, express your thoughts, communicate with others.
    Poetry, music, songs …. are indispensable when supporting children.
    1.3. 4,5 – 6year old
    The child experiments with all the words, sometimes he likes to use bad words just because he wants to use the power of the word but sometimes the adults don’t understand why. We see that many times adults judge that he is an evil boy because of swearing. But we need to understand that the child is only exploring the power of the word. If we let the child see that the word does not bring the desired effect, then the child will gradually stop using it.
    All sounds around the child have a strong effect on it. And parents need to be aware of all the words you use during this time. The child explores using language until the end of the sensitive period (age 6).
    2. Sensitive periods for Movement (0 – 1 years)
    2.1. Develop of Equilibrium
    The child’s balanced movements are completed from head to toe, from top to bottom along the spine and from the inside out. First the head and neck, followed by the back, hips, the last vertebra (butt) and knees, then the feet.
    2.1.1. 0 – 2month old
    the child have rapid dev of brain, mylenization of cells. When we touch a child’s leg, we can see the reflex movement. A baby may purposefully move her head, tilting her head left or right mainly to find mom’s breast but this is almost a reflex.
    2.1.2. 2 – 4month old
    Children learn to control their neck, head and shoulders. When an adult lies on his stomach, he may lift his head, trying to balance his head on his neck and shoulders.
    Choose a mattress that is not too soft, just enough for the child to face down (when they are too tired), it will not hurt. But it needs to be strong enough for the child to clearly feel his or her body. Children can also roll over when it is 3-4 months.
    3 months: if we support the child can sit up. When we know the child is able to control his neck to look up, we have to prepare the enviroment for the child to creep.
    2.1.3. 4 – 6 month old
    The child roll over, the tiny mattress is not enough space for him any more. The child rolled over, needing a safe space for the child like a thin mattress on the floor. Because children can crawl very quickly, the environment should be safe for children, sharp spots, small objects
    2.1.4. 6 – 8 month old
    The child learn to control his muscle and sit up by himself. We should allow the child to have his space to sit by himself, not around him all the time. children can sit and play with objects on their own, facing the adult to feel assured that adults are always within their sight.
    2.1.5. 8 – 18 month old
    9 months : can move by themselves by crawling. Grab on something to get up and walk along the wall or sofa. There may be a walker with a mirror for children.
    10 – 14 months: the child practiced to walk, release your hands from the fulcrum and practice balancing in space. Release your hands from the fulcrum and practice balancing in space. the child learns to walk step by step, leaning slightly to keep his balance.
    15 months: able to walk, they wont stop walking, before being able to walk slowly, the child will walk a little fast to be able to maintain a better balance, and once he get it, he slow down his walk. Even they walk, they may fall down but he will not cry a lot because he want to stand up and walk again many times.
    18m: The child wants to walk with a heavy object in his hand, he tries to move the heavy object with great effort. In toddlers’ class, small sandbags or water tanks, 2 – 4 kgs can be prepared, so that children can move, and it can also provide pulleys with heavy objects for children to pull. We also notice that he want to walk on the straight lines as he need to keep balance for himself. Children also like to walk on straight lines such as balancing bridges, curbs, and curbside
    2.1.6. 18 – 24 months:
    A child who enjoys activities that require persistence such as walking, climbing, carrying physical objects and begins to enjoy physical activities that require dexterity. We should allow them to walk by themselves, should not hold them too much.
    2.2. Development of Hand
    2.2.1. 2 – 4 month old
    When the child is about 15 – 30 days old, the child’s hand has a special ability that is always held tightly. So tight that when you let them hold your finger, you can lift the baby up a bit.
    Once this stage has passed, it is no longer available.

    The child grasps an object against the palm without use of the thumb.
    2.2.2. 4 – 6 month old

    The child can use his hand to grasp something. So adults should prepare toys hanging on A-shaped shelves, some of which have a circular shape so they can grasp and pull. A few small objects like cubes that your child can handle.
    The child uses a radial palmar grasp, that is he grasps an object with his thumb, index and middle fingers against his palm.
    Provide the child with objects she can grasp with one hand.
    Offer the toy toward the index finger side of the child’s hand.
    Place a cube or block in a box or container to encourage the child to grasp with the index and middle fingers side of the hand.
    2.2.3. 6 – 8 month old

    The child holds an object with his thumb, index finger and middle finger without using his palm. The child can sit alone, so adults let them sit alone, so the child can grab something on purpose. If we place an object in front of him, what object will he choose, which can help him remove the object from the bowl / box. Let children grasp a block, a latch. Or other toys encourage the use of his thumb, index finger and middle finger.
    2.2.4. 8 – 18 month old
    About 8 months: Children can hold a pea-sized object by using four fingers opposite their thumbs toward the palm without using their thumbs. Please ensure a safe environment, children do not put small objects in the mouth, nose or ears.
    About 9 months: a child can pick up a pea-sized object with her thumb and index finger. Provide children with small or thin objects to grasp, such as half-inch cubes, pegs, sticks, bells; Also try small items, like raisins, dried cereals, finger foods. Put objects on the table to hold. Place the object in a small bowl or box to encourage grasping the thumb and forefinger.

    10 – 12 months: Children who hold crayons can create scribbles on paper. When placing the crayon in front of children, they can hold the crayon in their dominant hand. Place a large pencil on the table in front of your child so they can hold the crayons to their liking. Children can be drawn on paper or sand to create scribbles.
    18 months: pulling and carrying things, want to get something to draw. All this activity has to be meaningful work (carry things for adult). Allow the child participate in the family so he can development social connection.
    2.2.5. 24 month old

    About 24 – 30 months: The child can now hold the crayon using the thumb in combination with other fingers, which can be a 4 or 3 or 2 or two different fingers in different ways, as long as the child feels comfortable. We can adjust a little so that children can hold the crayons with the thumb, index finger, middle finger. Using a large crayon pen is easier for the child. Children may show their dominant hand, but not always.
    At this stage, the child uses and practices fine-tuning motion, he wants to challenge to work with fingers and hands.
    There are many activities: for children to climb, play with fingers, hide and seek, peek-a-boo

    About 30 months: Children can hold pencils, crayons, spoons with almost adult positions. Let children feed themselves with spoons and forks.

    3. Mathematics (4 – 6 years)
    4 – 6 years The sensitive period for math patterns, also known as a sensitive period for mathematics, takes place between the ages of 2 and 6 years. During this time, children are able to form an understanding of many different mathematical concepts.
    Their understanding usually progresses from addition and subtraction to multiplication and division. The understanding of these concepts is enhanced using concrete materials.

    In the Montessori circles the phrase “Mix Age Group” is used very often because this is one of the very important features of any Montessori environment, irrespective of whether it is a preschool or a primary classroom. What does the term mean? Montessori, as a rule, reckons learning according to the age of the child rather than the class, grade or standard in which the child studies. When, in working room, children of three, four and five years of age work together without being segregated into divisions it is termed ‘mixed age group’.
    Similarly it is when seven, eight and nine year olds work in the same classroom. Many educationists find this absurd and unproductive. When there is freedom to work there is freedom in education. In such a case the mixed age group reveals its advantages.
    Human life presents a picture of interdependence. Plants, animals or human life cannot exist without others. We can say the same of the child and adult life. Needless to point out that members of any community depend on each other. In a Montessori House of Children also this is very evident. But this interdependence can be understood only when there is plenty of opportunity to give and take. Give and take cannot happen, in its real sense, if all the members of the community have the same need, in the same measure, at the same time. When the community has mixed age group the older children offer help to the younger children. By giving that help they become better and stronger individuals. Receiving help gracefully comes naturally to younger children. In turn they offer help to the older children also. The classroom is a miniature world where this healthy interaction takes place.
    This interaction leads to a degree of social cohesion that becomes very visible to even an ordinary eye. Very often workers in Montessori House remark how the new entrants to the Children House get accustomed to the life there mainly because of how the older children endear themselves to the younger ones. It has been noticed that the new children settle down faster when helped by the older children. This can happen only when they live in the same room. Almost like magic the togetherness grows. How can this be possible when all the children are of the same age and have the same needs?
    Speaking in the reverse order we find the older children taking charge of younger ones spontaneously. The sense of responsibility with which they take over amazes the observer. This is specially seen during the first days of newly admitted children. Some older children literally ‘adopt’ young ones and hold themselves responsible. This situation can be obtained only in a mixed age group setting.
    This social cohesion is evident and the natural out come of this is the disappearance of any type of envy, jealousy, if there was any. Normally children do not have these negative emotions but Montessori would remark that these inputs come from the adults in the environment. Words seemingly meant as encouragement put these seeds into the child’s mind. See how your friend comes first in the class, see how your friends can recite all the poems teacher has taught, etc.
    When we realize that each child is unique we would not be making these comments. In a House of Children the teacher has the responsibility of not outwardly comparing children. However, when the children make such comparisons themselves it is very healthy. Children have been seen showing off their friends work. ‘How nice this is! My friend did
    this’ is an often-heard statement. The mixed age grouping gives plenty of opportunity for the development of such traits in the child.
    Educationists often remark that competition is good for development. True enough that it provides the impetus to function better. In implementing this idea, adults very often resort to methods that lead to unhealthy competition. When children themselves make the comparisons it is in a spirit of joy and appreciation. It is not always that younger children compete with older ones but vice versa also.
    Spontaneous and uninhibited appreciation of work at various levels and, therefore, from various points of view becomes possible. In the Montessori classroom, there is work done at different levels of efficiency. Children learn to look at different aspects of things.
    There is an unsaid rule that the child can work with those materials only which have been presented to them. He would see materials meant for other age groups and need to retain himself. Such exercises of the WILL strengthen it. Needless to say how important in life is the exercise of one’s WILL power.
    We recognize this fact that the mixed age group ensures a judicious distribution of the materials to children of all ages. If the class consisted of same age group there would be more demand for the same materials and some of the materials will lie unused because the children have not reached the stage of using them or have gone past the stage.
    The child learns to practice the code of conduct that mobilizes his consideration for others.
    Children do not need constant reminders about behavior from the adults in the environment. The behavior from the adults in the environment the younger children learn by example rather than by
    precept. The mixed age group makes it possible. The performance of activities at different levels of The performance of activities at different levels for further activities. This happens when they see the older ones working. Presumably this observation stimulates the children to ask for presentations.
    When the older children watch the younger ones performing they almost relive their previous activities. This serves as a reinforcement (or shall we say revision) of what they have already mastered. Can we ever imagine a child in the second standard doing what he had already done while he was in the first standard!
    Montessori would say that the absorbent mind in the child has not completely disappeared. Children belonging to all age groups would be performing activities belonging to all areas of developmental activities. In a manner of speaking the educational concepts would be ‘alive’ (being practicea) in the environment. Without being conscious of it the child learns several things. The effort that does not tire the child at all! What else do we want for happy and healthy, enduring education
    Dr. Montessori believes that the spiritual embryo begins before birth. She gives the example of a premature baby born at 7 months and that is already able to function and to have a psychic life. He must build himself up until he becomes a full human being. While it starts building up, the first thing that occurs is intelligence.
    The definition that we can give to the term “spiritual embryo” is that the spiritual embryo is the phase of development that starts right when the baby is born and continues by the age of 3 years old. It is the baby’s life in the new environment after the womb. During this time they form themselves. They absorb the informations from their environment, through observation, which is going to be their great foundation to build upon for later learning.

    During the post-embryonic period children experience an extensive growth, patterning and maintenance of the adult form. The child will be able to develop his individual capacities. That first period of life is so important, that we must take care of the newborn mental health as much as we take care of his body.
    For example, while I was observing a 5 weeks baby I noticed that when he was calm, lying on his bed, he had his eyes open and was just listening to us talking around him and moving h is head slowly towards to where the voice was coming from and whoever was going on top of him was really trying to look into his eyes and move his legs and arms like he was trying to communicate in his own way.
    His parents had on top of his crib a toy with stars that displayed music and the sealing was full of bright, big stars, that were moving slowly. Besides giving them a nice warm bath as well as a massage afterwards, we can talk to them with a nice calm voice so they can develop their trust in us and reassure them that everything is going to be fine.
    As Dr. Montessori said:
    “There is in the child a special kind of sensitivity which lead him to absorb everything about him, and it is this work of observing and absorbing that alone enables him to adapt himself to life”. (Maria Montessori)
    Absorbing mind is a term defined by Dr. Maria Montessori. The mind implies the intelligent functioning of the brain, which may have existed before the child was born. The black area on BULB CHART is the area we don’t know about yet.
    Absorption means the word used to describe the way the child’s mind works between 0-6 years of age, which Dr. Montesosri describes it as a great way for a child to receive everything from its environment like a sponge.
    – Create activity of the child through which he constructs himself. Humans have 9 months of physical embryo in the womb. At birth, children carry human genetic information boards, using genetic information, absorbent minds and sensitive times to be the human being.
    – The process by which the child adapts himself to the world and society he is born into. The infinite power of the absorbent mind also helps the child to adapt to the times and cultures. The child needs to build him or herself to adapt to the times, to the society, to its civilization. No animal’s brain has such an ability. The world is always changing, always moving, this function of the human brain makes it possible for a child to like to think of today’s world and tomorrow’s world.
    – A mind that absorbs knowledge into its very essence providing the raw materials for learning.
    The first 3 years of life are like a child’s mental embryo. During that period, the brain absorbs everything needed to build that child in the future. Physical embryo – the child that forms the body, the internal organs, which forms the function of the whole body. Mental embryo – uptake: how people say, how people go, how people communicate with each other, the relationship between humans and humans, between people and things and between animals and animals and most importantly, where the child lies in those relationships.
    “Adults admire their environment; they can remember it and think about it; but the child absorbs it. The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul. He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see, and his ears hear. In us the same things produce no change, but the child is transformed by them.”
    Montessori discovered that children aging 3 to 6 years are constantly absorbing from the environment and do not need to be taught in the conventional terms. If they learn from the environment all that we need to do in order to maximize learning is to make the environment right according to their needs. A Montessori classroom should not be confused with ordinary classroom as it is a house of children. It is a place where they live like we do in our homes. The external world is too complicated for them and on the other side their natural urges for activity and independence disturb the adult environment. Therefore, it is a place which caters for their natural needs. It is the fulfillment of inner needs that ultimately lead to normalization and a stable and flexible personality.
    The environment should be designed to meet the needs, interests, abilities and development of the children in the class. The teachers should design and adapt the environment with the community of children in mind, rapidly modifying the selection of educational materials available, the physical layout, and the tone of the class to best fit the ever changing needs of the children.
    Whithin a Montessori program, children progress at their own pace, moving on to the next step in each area of learning as they are ready. While the child lives within a larger community of children, each student is viewed as a universe in itself.
    Unlike conventional schools where the teacher in charge makes all the children do the same tasks as a class, in Montessori houses each child is given time to explore the materials present in the classroom, select and work with the activity of his choice individually. This inculcates freedom, independence and sense of achievement in children. The child, if given a free hand, would select and take interest in only the activity, which fulfills his inner needs for development. The teacher offers help only when inevitable. It is not that group learning is forbidden in Montessori, but is practiced rarely in Montessori classrooms.

  2. Module 1

    Informative and i loved it

  3. Module 1

    Books were very thorough and informative and videos were easy to follow!

  4. Module 1

    What a wonderful introduction to the Montessori Method and how Dr. Montessori created this method by paying close attention to child development and psychology.

  5. assignment finish

    assignment module 1 introduction to maria montessori