In this particular assignment I will be discussing movement which Montessori saw as a harmonising factor in a child’s development. I will also be looking at how important a prepared environment facilitates a balance between the mental and physical energies of the child.
Montessori believed that movement was a very important factor in a child’s development. Montessori writes that many schools tend to give priority to lessons which involves using your intellect and movement is normally placed under exercise, physical education or games. If that is done the close connection that movement and the developing mind (intellect) has will be overlooked (Montessori, (2007)).
Movement is said to help the development of the mind, the brain being the centre of thought and then movement carried out by signals which the brain sends. It is not just used to help us breath and move. But help us to develop but that is only made if the “action which occurs is connected with the mental activity going on” (Montessori, (2007), page 130) This is linked with us being able to move enables us to explore and learn about our surroundings and also enable us to express our personality. As Montessori writes “The greatest of philosophers must use speech or writing to convey his ideas, and this involves muscular movement” (Montessori, (2007), page 125)
If there is no movement we cannot express our self and we would not learn ancient history and how life was before we were born. We would not understand and see the skills of the Egyptians in building their pyramids, tombs and pictures that they have drawn dictating life and important events (Montessori, (2007)).
In Europe during the, Middle Ages books and artefacts which were written and made would not have existed if movement was not involved (Montessori, (2007)) i.e. writing, building, and drawing is only possible if we move our hands.
When a man is born his muscles are un-coordinated and he has to learn how to build up his movement and perfect it by practice and “actions initiated by his mind” (Montessori, (2007), page 132). But before this his/her actions will be erratic and as a newborn baby he/she will be laying motionless and the first movement would be the grasping. Before that the action of grasping was an unconscious decision but when the baby decides to reach out to take something it is then a conscious decision (Montessori, (2007)). This will then allow the baby to put him/her in touch with his/her surroundings, living and non-living.
The baby when able to crawl on all four will explore his surroundings when further and his is around the age of 1 you will see him/her trying to master walking which he/she will need to practice loads before he/she is perfect at it. Although the infant’s movement is constant it is still like Montessori describes as “uncoordinated like those of a puppet” (Montessori, (2007), page 82) So it is essential that the child gets to practice as much as possible as it is the age where they are most sensitive and interested in movement. Other movement which the toddler would try to practice would be the fine and gross motor skills so having activities which involve these skills are important. Activities such as polishing shoes, transferring water from jug to jug and opening and closing of locks and boxes are good as it teaches the children how to use their hands, arms and also strengthen the muscles at the same time. Once a child is interested in an activity you can see that he/she would practice and practice till they are perfect and once they are they like to show the new skill of. I have seen this when at snack time and Gabby insists on pouring water from a jug into the other children’s cup even before they have finished drinking it all!
As they say practice makes perfect and this is the core concept with which Montessori believes should happen. A child develops by he/she’s own personal effort and...