“The mathematic mind is a mind that is especially interested in mathematics. Rather than find them boring and absurd, they find them interesting and absorbing. It is a fact that most children in our Montessori schools manage to achieve great enthusiasm while working with mathematics. Is the preparation of their minds that allows them to reach this pleasure." Maria Montessori, London Lectures, 1946, p 41
Mathematics has always been a difficult subject for students. Many children have developed phobias and barriers towards mathematics, which prevail into adulthood, thus limiting their potential. This limitation implies problems of learning, resulting in the child a sense of inferiority. Mathematics for common education have been a process of memorizing away from the child's natural development, apart from understanding, reasoning and interest. The problem then lies not in the major or minor child's ability to understand or the age at which to learn mathematics. These are just prejudices of adults; rather the problem lies in the way in which we teach them. By contrast, in our schools, children show a real fascination for mathematics, which are presented from 4 years of age. Children learn in a few weeks what would take 2 or 3 years at a traditional school . Why is this difference so abysmal? What has education done to produce these reactions in children? The Human Tendencies, The Absorbent Mind and The Sensitive Periods governing child development from birth are fertile ground for planting and harvesting this new knowledge. If we want to succeed and enthusiasm them in this area, we must continue their natural development. Numbers like the alphabet, not found in nature, have been an invention of man as a need to understand each other, to progress, for evolution and survival. Humans, as we know, were born with the innate ability to create a language to express the abstract aspects that we have formed of the things around us and their...
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