Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Observation - Discoveries Made Through It


            It was through observation that Maria Montessori, as a medical doctor and scientist, discovered many great and previously unexplored facets of the child.

  • She discovered that basic construction occurs during the first six years of the child’s life.
  • Children largely construct themselves; the adult can only provide the best tools for the child to utilize.
  • The basic, core elements of the child’s culture are acquired during the first plane of development.
  • The character of the child cannot be formed by the adult.
  • She observed and labeled sensitive periods, the absorbent mind, and human tendencies.
  • She found that supposed discipline problems disappear with purposeful, concentrated, freely chosen work that channels energy; energy is ever-present, but can be channeled into constructive or destructive ends.
  • The child has a tremendous ability to concentrate.
  • Montessori discovered the concept of the normalized child, a concept not found in other fields of early childhood education even a century later, but that has been observed continuously since its first manifestations in the earliest children’s houses.
  • She discovered the importance of a greater emphasis on indirect preparation, a concept only now just beginning to catch on in other child development fields.
  • She discovered the child’s need for freedom to choose, to repeat and to move, again concepts that are only partially catching on elsewhere.
  • Children love silence.
  • Children have an intrinsic desire to learn; they do not need rewards of any extrinsic sort.

The child requires a natural scientist to discover him, one who will gather data patiently and objectively, reflect on the information gathered and once arriving at a conclusion will take the appropriate steps to act upon said conclusion.
           

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