Dmt 102

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“The senses are points of contact with the environment." How does activity with sensorial materials encourage observation and perception of the environment? “It is through contact with and exploration of the environment, that the intelligence builds up its store of operational ideas without which its abstract functioning lacks both foundation and inspiration". (Montessori, The Discovery of the Child, pg. 151) _Sensorial Exercises are designed by Montessori to cover every quality that can be perceived by the senses such as size, shape, composition, texture, loudness or softness, matching, weight, temperature, etc. Because the Exercises cover such a wide range of senses, Montessori categorized the Exercises into eight different groups: Visual, Tactile, Baric, Thermic, Auditory, Olfactory, Gustatory, and Stereognostic_. . Montessori sought to train or exercise the senses through the use of specially designed sensorial equipment. This equipment she terms "didactic', which means educative, or that which educates. Hence, it is the material that does the teaching through the child's manipulation of it. This "auto-education", learning though movement of the materials, is a basic concept of sense training. Montessori made materials that satisfy the child's need for movement while at the same time furthering sensory development and keen observation on the part of the child. Montessori realized that she could not bring to children all that the universe contained, but that she could provide "the keys" needed for an _on going awareness of elements that would be necessary and useful as they began to sort out, categorize and label their world._ *If he has understood the idea and makes a mistake, it is a sign that he has not yet reached the stage of perceiving the differences between the gradations of one colour. It is practice which perfects in the child that capacity for distinguishing the fine differences and so we leave him alone to his attempts.” Maria Montessori....
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