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Dmt 102

By nadhishap Nov 13, 2009 1285 Words
“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. *Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook. The_ sensorial materials appeal to the child when presented, but are also designed to function as a basis for future work. It is the job of the sensorial materials to gradually increase the child's ability to perceive things in a more refined and ordered way. The exercises are graded so that the child can perceive first strong contrasts and are gradually refined to finer and more delicate differences. The child is provided with an opportunity to repeat these exercises as often as he wishes for repetition is what builds and exercise the senses._ _The Sensorial Material helps the child to develop and refine the senses, bringing each sense to its highest power, in order to produce an orderly mind which enables the child to clarify, make discriminations and classify the impressions received from the environment. The materials give the child concrete experience from which - when ready - the child can move to the idea within. The child, concentrating her or his attention on different qualities with in the materials, makes comparisons, reasons, and forms judgments until a power of discrimination is acquired which was not possessed before; in other words, the child has refined his or her senses._ “The child has an internal power to bring about co-ordinations, which he thus creates himself, and once these have begun to exist, he goes on perfecting them by practice. He himself is clearly one of the principal creative factors in their production". (Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, pg. 179) In Sensorial Exercises, the child goes through a series of discoveries. Everything is new, and every new discovery should provide the feeling of satisfaction. It is not only the development of the a child's senses that occurs during this process of discovery, but also, perhaps more significantly, the development of the child's whole personality comprised of his or her mind, body, and spirit. _A child will look at a new object, put it in his or her mouth for size and taste, shake it, and feel the texture and weight.. Sensorial Exercises develop character, ensuring that other developments follow naturally, including intellectual skills, spatial skills (e.g. orientation in space), as well as an understanding of one's personal context. This development helps the child to be a member of his time, place, and culture._ _Many of the Sensory Materials have an indirect aim: they prepare the child for future work in arithmetic and language. The idea of series in many of the materials is a preparation for counting. The exactness of language in the material helps the child clarify and classify the world and move towards abstraction (i.e., the child no longer requires the material, as he or she now has a word to represent the quality embodied within). The language related to the material also increases the child's vocabulary, enabling each child to express her or himself clearly and precisely. The world is made up of dimensions which can be classified and organized, and this is how we put the child in contact with the environment; .Sensorial Materials give the child the world in an organized and classified way providing the keys to its exploration Sensorial materials are attractive but also very simple, designed to be as close to reality as possible. This is important to create clarity in the child's mind about the real quality that is sought to be taught._ “

*"Therefore, we think of our sensorial material as a system of materialized abstractions or of basic mathematics". (Montessori, The Discovery of the Child, pg. 231) _The geometric solids open up the possibilities for seeing and feeling both similarities and differences in objects and provide for use of the three period lesson to give objects names. This continues with the Color Boxes 1-2-3 and progresses from simple matching to ultimate gradation of a single color in Color Box 3. Tactile works also allow the child to make personal decisions based on sensory awareness e.g. smoothest vs. roughest. Olfactory works and tasting works further refine the child's sense of awareness and his ability to match like objects based on a personal decision. The geometric cabinet offers the child shapes found in his world and the nomenclature for labelling them. The child's tracing of the shapes reinforces the visual image and often times a child will recall that he also did this same movement with the knobbed cylinders. The triangle boxes allow the child to begin to see the parts and wholes in various shapes. The boxes also increase in complexity with the child himself becoming the control of error as he uses the black lines to reinforce m_ the Sensorial materials are also designed to indirectly prepare children for work in other curricular areas. For example, many of the Sensorial materials contain ten pieces which prepares children for the decimal system. The left-to-right, top-to-bottom order of most Sensorial presentations prepares the child for directionality in reading and writing. _Sensorial learning, like the foundation, cannot stand alone as it would not be a complete education, but the other curriculum areas also can not stand without sensorial education. The materials not only allow the child to make an increasing sense and order out of the materials in his world, but also develop the observation skills within the child. The world is made up of dimensions which can be classified and structured, and this is how we put the child in contact with the environment. The sensorial gives the child the world in an organized and classified way providing the keys to its exploration._ BIBLIOGRAPHY

_Montessori, Maria (1997) The Discovery of the Child, Oxford, England: Clio Press_ Maria Montessori. Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook
Montessori, M (1973) The Secret of Childhood_. Ballantine Books _

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