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 second principle: “that learning and well-being are enhanced when people have a sense of control over their lives”.
This has to do with freedom and free choice: children actually thrive when they have freedom to make choices in their environment, and this creates independent, self-fulfilled individuals, as long as they are in environments where they feel they are in control – this is very important – you cannot take a child into an unknown environment and expect similar behaviour to what is achieved in better known and experienced environments – you will be disappointed. However, in a Montessori classroom, these children are free to make more choices: what to work on, how long to work on it, with whom to do it with, the list is endless. This is teaching important life skills, but the child is teaching himself, we are merely facilitators for the journey. Psychology research shows more and more that freedom and choice in a carefully designed and prepared environment, is linked to better learning outcomes.
We can prepare our children for like skills so easily at home – they must dress themselves, pour their own drinks and reach for their own snacks – you may make the initial choices but by making the child feel as though they are in control, means that they are more likely to feel in control when they have to make other choices. We need to give them as many tools as possible, and by doing it for them, we are showing our children that they are not worthy – just don’t do it. Children are remarkable – give them the credit due them.
Please remember these exerts 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 third principle: Interest and how it impacts on how easily we learn.