Practical Life Area of a Montessori Environment

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  • Published : November 16, 2011
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a. Direct Aim
The materials in the Montessori classroom are offered to the children with a direct aim in mind. The adult does the work of washing clothes as a chore whereas a child does the same activity for the enjoyment of the process. After the laborious work that she/he does, she/he repeats the process for the enjoyment of the process. Each material isolates a concept and allows for repetitive practice with a certain skill and the child repeats this process to because he gets a sense of satisfaction. This means that their design allows the child to solve challenges inherent in the materials without help. The Direct Aims of Practical Life are to develop coordination, concentration, independence, eye-hand coordination, control of movement, centering, strengthening of the dominant hand, and order through prepared activities that are attractive and draw the attention of the child. This internal aim which the child works is for him to grow. For e.g., the direct aim in the Rice Pouring activity will be concentration, co-ordination, independence and order.

b. Indirect Aim
In working with the Practical Life activities, the child indirectly prepares herself or himself in doing an activity. She/he imitates an adult actively. When the child is given a lesson, she/he tries to imitate every step and follow the directress very minutely. The indirect aim is to enable the child to do some activity on his own, rather than being dependent on the directress or any other adult. The indirect aims of Practical Life are innumerable and depend on each activity. For e.g., the indirect aim for the Lentil Spooning activity is the reading readiness for left to right movement, preparation for writing, co-ordination, gentleness. The indirect aim of an exercise, in the Practical Life area of a Montessori environment, has two elements. It includes the self-evident purpose of the action. The second part of the indirect aim includes preparation for future learning.
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