Wider horizons is a Montessori concept, which encourages the teaching of pupils, without the constrains of curriculum and as much and as far as the imagination brings him. The six year old is by now in possession of many interests and skills, from practical life, sensorial, language and mathematics. His personality, psychology and physical appearance has changed.
In her book, From Childhood to Adolescence, Montessori states that the changes from one level to the next are so different that they can be compared to the “metamorphoses of insects.” Montessori.1948. p.1. She compares the changing of the caterpillar changing into a butterfly to the likeness of how the child changes and evolves. She continues to say that the changes are not as clearly defined in the child and it would be more exact to speak of them as “rebirths”.
“At each new stage there is a different child who presented characteristics different from those he exhibited during preceding years.” Montessori.1948. p.1.
To broaden the child’s learning experiences through wider horizons, the teacher must first know what stage the pupil is at and what the characterises of the child are.
The book, From Childhood to Adolescence, Montessori suggests that the child from approximately seven to twelve is “generally calm and happy.” Montessori.1948. p.1.
She also suggests that he is mentally stable and he is healthier, stronger and assured ability. At this stage there are two sub phases: age six to nine: where new functions and abilities are created and the second phases, age nine to twelve; where the child refines new skills learnt. (Montessori, 1948)
Montessori warns educators that it is these changes, physical and mental, that have the greatest bearing on the method of education to be considered. The child’s personality is fixed but the child’s needs are changing.
The child... [continues]
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