Adapted from Angeline Stoll Lillard’s “Montessori – The Science behind the Genius”
As a continuation from the previous newsletter, I offer more reasons as to why we are offering the Montessori method of pedagogy: following on from the 8 basic principles, I wish to review the third principle: “that we all learn better when we are interested in what we are learning”.
We all know that the easiest, and best learning happens when there is strong interest in the item or subject. This can be both personal, for example, a clear love of furry mammal animals, or insects. The interest can also be created, or situational, and Maria Montessori tried to create her material in such a way as to create a situational interest in children. The secret is then to present it in such a way as to just pique the interest of the child, and they can then follow through, and get more information on their own. We know, as Montessorians, that at certain times children have special “sensitive periods”, and we attempt to create special interest for whatever this period may be, whether language, order, or any other special interest that comes up so regularly with normalised children. The didactic material is thus just an aid to create further interest in a situation where that interest has already, naturally started, within the child.
We are known for capitalising on unique personal interest, and this is an essential part of the Montessori curriculum, although better followed as the children get into Elementary classes. We know that this is how the very best learning takes place and although we cannot exclude requirements of each curriculum, we can allow natural interest to follow a path that creates knowledge and maintains a child’s interest. Thus children should be allowed to work with and spend time on activities that fascinate them, as we know that that is how the very best learning will take place. This is what will create a love and curiosity for learning that should continue through life.
Please remember these excerts are taken from Angeline Stoll Lillards “Montessori, The Science Behind the genius” – her work is groundbreaking, and widely acknowledged.
In the next newsletter I will cover the fourth principle: Why we avoid extrinsic rewards.