Coffee with Maria Montessori
ECE 332: Childhood Development
Coffee with Maria Montessori
I will meet with my favorite theorist Maria Montessori. I will summarize of the Montessori theory, my choice of the theorist, three interesting topics, and my future career as a Preschool Owner/Director.
I choose Maria Montessori as my theorist. In the early 1900’s, Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori developed an innovative teaching methodology for children that left an indelible mark on education curricula throughout the world. Montessori education is a sensory-based pedagogy that is based on the belief that children learn at their own pace through manipulation of objects (Lopata, Wallace, & Finn, 2005). Montessori observed that effective teaching styles required the establishment of a “sensory rich” environment that offered interactive yet independent learning opportunities. In this “educational playground” children could choose from a variety of development activities that promoted learning by doing. Montessori believed that is was necessary to train the senses before training the mind (Lopata, Wallace, & Finn, 2005). At one of my previous centers, the children were experiencing difficulty tying/untying their shoes, buttoning/unbuttoning and zipping/unzipping their jackets. I had each child bring in empty tissue boxes and shoe laces. I created shoebox shoes with shoe laces for the children to practice daily lacing their shoes. I created cloth fastening boards added zippers, and buttons. Creating these tools enabled the children to use their fine motor skills to learn how to tie/untie their shoes, button/unbutton and zip/unzip their jackets. I believe in children learning by
having hands on activities. By using this “self-directed” individual approach, Montessori’s students were able to teach themselves through critical interaction in a prepared environment containing interconnected tasks which gradually required higher levels of cognitive thought. This method was designed to create a task-oriented student who is “intrinsically motivated to master challenging tasks” (Rathude & Csikszentmihalya, 2005 p. 345). Examples of hands on learning activities for the children tearing and gluing paper, sweeping and mopping floors, pouring/scooping water, sand, confetti etc. The activities help children learn fine motor skills as they explore the environment around them.
The topics I would discuss with Maria are the role of the Montessori teacher, classroom environment, and the Montessori Curriculum. The role of the teacher is not to be the focal point of what the children are looking at. The teacher is a guide for the children, set goals with the children, give lessons to groups of children, and observe to make sure the children understand the information that was presented to them. In the classroom environment the students assign their own personal workstations designed with educational items pertaining to the daily lesson and activities. The students set up the work area, choose the learning activity, apply the physical materials, and return the material back to the shelf (Pickering, 2004). In the Montessori Curriculum the students spend the majority of their time participating in different sessions of uninterrupted activities lasting three hours. Theses consist of independent and group problem-solving tasks and sensory activities of math, science, language, history, geography, art, music,
and nature (Holfester, C., 2017).
I would like to apply for Preschool Director at Childtime (Indeed.com). I would be a great candidate for this role because I will incorporate my compassion and dedication into the daily activities as I interact with staff, children, and parents. There is currently one qualification I don’t meet for this job: a completed Bachelor’s degree in child related field. Upon graduation, I will have a degree in Early Childhood Administration, 11 years supervising, and 8 years of childcare experience at my current job. Based upon Maria Montessori’s theory, I think her response might be: “Splendid job pursing your dream of becoming a director and being a role model for the children”.
In conclusion I am exceptionally professional and observant of my children’s unique needs both academic and emotional, and I quickly will adjust my teaching methods to accommodate the specific needs. I care about the well being of each child and strive to make every day a positive one.
Holfester, C. (2017). Montessori method. Salem Press Enclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.salempress.com/