Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Adult and Presentations - 3 - Giving the Presentation

The child or children should have the adult’s full attention and all the children should know from the beginning of their time in the casa that there can be no interruptions during presentations, so that this time is respected. 


The adult should maintain frequent eye contact, choosing words carefully, counting words as needed since actions speak louder anyway. 


The most important characteristic in the exercises of practical life presentations are in the analysis of movement, of which the adult should utilize very carefully and specifically. 
“Every complex action comprises a series of distinct movements; one act follows the other. The analysis of movements consists in trying to recognize and to carry out exactly these separate and distinct acts.”[3] 
There should be all the needed movements for the activity, shown clearly, with no superfluous movement, so that the child can distinctly see what needs to be seen and later practice these movements himself. 
“An analysis and economy of movement are bound together; to carry out no superfluous movements in the attainment of a goal is, in brief, the highest degree of perfection. This is the source of aesthetic movements and artistic attitudes.”[4] 
Rather than using slow motion, a brief pause between key moments generally suffices to provide a distinction between one step and another, allowing the child to clearly see and, at least partially, absorb each step, noting that each movement has many smaller steps. 


The child then identifies the movements, seeing their succession and how each movement is performed. 


The emphasis on the individual movements and brief pauses with eye contact also serves to highlight the points of interest/consciousness such that the child is given the opportunity to see them, attracting his attention and serving as a control of error in his striving for perfection.



[3] Maria Montessori. The Discovery of the Child. Fides/Ballantine. 1967. 86.
[4] Ibid. 87.


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