Can PLE help in integration of personality of a child?
At times when the capabilities of a child under seven were underestimated, Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1953), an Italian physician with specialization in the fields of psychology and anthropology, an educator, a noted humanitarian, a true scientist came out with a revolutionary concept in pedology. It came to be known as Montessori Method of education. Since she had a specialization in psychiatry, as part of her first job, she had to visit Rome’s asylums for the insane. It was during her visits she got to know the plight of the children and their desperations for the sensorial education, This motivated her to read in depth on this subject and study the ground breaking work of Frenchmen Jean Itand and Edourad Sequin his student. Intand had developed a technique of education through senses and Sequin had created practical apparatus to develop the Child’s sensory perceptions and motor skills. Dr. Montessori was very influenced by this and we find a significant use of these ideas in the Montessori Method . After observing the small children she saw that they loved to work as their own and do simple tasks so she developed activities pertaining to the practical life or simple ways of living. I would like to stress on her observations at Casa dei Bambini became they form the basis of whole of the Montessori education. Observations at Casa Dei Bambini
She observed that children have a natural tendency to concentrate. They love repetitions and that gives a lot of encouragement, the repetitions also lead to development of memory and functions. This gives them inner satisfaction. They become more interested in the work they are doing once this satisfaction in paid attention to. They love order. She observed that the material placed on the open shelves the children put back every day after they played. Children love work which involves the mind; it is here she developed the concept of Practical Life Exercises. Practical means simple, very basic and life means a way of living. They need no reward or punishment. Just a small praise or the joy of finishing the work is their achievement. We as adults are insensitized to this fact and very often spoil the child by giving rewards that were not at all necessary. Every child loves silence. This is hard to understand for we all have the wrong notion children always love noises. Many an illiterate people can be good artists. For them it is the pattern that is important not the undersading behind it. Writing and reading skills are also form of drawing. Writing correspondence to the fine motor skills. And reading is purely intellectual. So it is writing taught first and then reading. All the motor skills are aimed at preparing the child to write. This is natural phenomenon and happens at a destined time. We can’t teach a two year old to write teach a long sentence at a time. A child read and writes for his own happiness and joy. Lastly, Dr. Montessori observed children have built in self-discipline. This comes from freedom of choice. Very much related to the “INNER SELF” discipline. News of a different way to educate children spread across the world. She put forth the idea that a human child required a path to grow and develop according to these basic human needs. She termed this as “Education – an aid to life”. This education for life has as its foundations four basic principles. Human tendencies, four places of development, the Absorbent Mind and Sensitive Periods. We shall now discuss about each of these. .
She believed “The greatness of human personality begins at the hour of birth”. The absorbent mind, Dr. Maria Montessori (pg. 2). She believed that education must start from birth and said that “The…. (o)…. Every child is born with a prelaid psychic pattern. According to Carrel the period of infancy is the richest. It should be utilized to full. This child has a mind able to absorb knowledge and power to teach himself. E.g. a child...
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