The Montessori method is universally accepted and acclaimed for its success in educating the child through guidance rather than control. The Montessori-trained educator (directress) is a role model who, through assisted discovery, is responsible for the holistic (complete) development of the child. This pertains to the child’s spiritual, moral, intellectual, physical, interpersonal, cultural and social development.
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952), an Italian psychiatrist and educator, referred to the child’s mind as ‘the absorbent mind’due its natural ability to learn effortlessly and unconsciously from the world around him/her. She also recommended to ‘follow the child’ – to constantly observe him as he ventures into discovery based on his inner urge and curiosity – then seize the moment for inspired learning. The child learns best when at peace, free from pressure and undue expectations. The Montessori method provides a pleasant and stimulating environment with carefully designed materials that meet the child’s natural needs and nurtures his absorbent mind.
The Montessori method comes naturally to both child and educator because it is in accordance with human nature (fitrah). It enables the child to develop self-confidence, security, a sense of order and social relationships, creative intelligence and imagination. It also sharpens his ability to discriminate and make sound judgment.
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