María Montessori elaborated the scientific teaching based on observation and the scientific method. From there, she made her materials and this teaching method.
The Montessori method is based on scientific observations related to the ability of children to absorb knowledge from around them, as well as the interest they show in materials they are capable of manipulating, in things they do naturally and by themselves. For this reason, the method is much more than educating, it is the educator’s ability to love and respect the child and to be sensitive to their needs. A Montessori class is carefully organized, thus allowing the child to work independently while promoting the pleasure of discovering for oneself.
The role of teachers/guides
The role of the teacher or guide is a strong pillar of Montessori pedagogy. This requires a special preparation, where it occupies a very different place from what is traditionally known.
The teachers intervene with delicacy when the child needs it, observe a lot and, above all, have the mission of directing the intellectual activity of the children and their physiological development.
They help the child to work, to concentrate and to learn using the appropriate material and surroundings. They get to know the children and, at the most opportune moment, present them with the didactic material. They observe them during their activity and propose their help only when they have the impression that one of the children needs the directed accompaniment that helps them reconnect with their own development guide.
Maria Montessori observed that the first six years of a child’s life are guided by their absorbent mind. In this period, the child learns innately through their own experiences and interactions with the world around them.
Human tendencies are those that help the human being to satisfy the needs, both physical and spiritual, of each individual. Accompanying the child in the discovery of these tendencies will help them to grow in freedom, respect and self-knowledge. Among them we can highlight the exploration, manipulation, orientation, order, observation, imagination, concentration, work, repetition and control of error.
When we see a child grow and see how it develops, the physical changes are easily perceptible; it is a growth that we follow day by day. On the other hand, the parallel development that takes place at the psychological level is much more difficult for us to grasp with the naked eye; it is hidden inside.
Sensitive periods can be described as powerful capacities to develop certain characteristics, such as: order, language, coordinated movement, etc. They are universal, they occur in every child anywhere on the planet; and they are transitory, as they disappear, either because it is no longer needed, one works mentally and does not see it, or because a poor environment for stimuli has made it disappear.