How does movement contribute to the development of the child?
The capacity to move according to will is what distinguishes man and animals from the vegetable world. Movement is an essential part of life and it helps to create the means for subjecting motion impulses to the will. The more developed a child is, the more obedient are his instrument of motion to his will. Nature teaches the child how to move about. The movement of the child while growing is different in each stage of his development. The children have different need for moving. These changes in attitude come by themselves and are independent of any educational influence. The proportions of the body of a child changes while his growth and it is necessary to observe their spontaneous movements in order to help them grow into their full potential. Even the way they take a rest between their continual movements differ from age to age. In Montessori schools the children are provided with small rugs or little tables, according to their need for working on the ground or seated.
By a habit of work, a child learns to move his hands and arms o strengthen his muscles more than he does through ordinary gymnastics. The work is refreshing and not tiring to a child, because of the interest he takes in all his movements. Work is a natural exercise, since the child will have some object for his movements. In Montessori schools, the objects that are used for practical life of a child have no scientific purpose. The number of these objects depends on the resources of the school and the time the child spends in the school each day.
If the school has a garden, weeding the plants, gathering the ripe fruits etc can be an interesting work for the child. Likewise, setting the table, serving the meals, eating properly, washing the cups and plates, polishing the shoes, tidying the classroom etc also will contribute to the practical exercise for the child. The teacher should open up the way for the children to do...
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