Natural Laws of Development
Growth and development through self-activity is Nature's greastest miracle.
Man creates himself according to the laws of growth and development.
It is only a cycle in which both adults and children take their places. The child is the constructor and maker of the adult man. The child is the father of the man.
In the pre-natal period the child has established all the vital organs which after birth are developed enough for survival.
In a parallel manner the foundations of the psychic life have been established.
Though there has been much development in the pre-natal period, the development of a child during the first 3 years after birth is unequalled in intensity and importance than any period that preceeds or follows the rest of the child's life. The natural development of children proceeds through several distinct planes of development, each one having its own unique conditions and sensitive periods for acquiring basic faculties in the developmental process. The first plane (ages 0–6) involves basic personality formation and learning through physical senses. During this plane, children experience sensitive periods for acquiring language, refinement of the senses, movement and order. The second plane of development (6–12) involves learning through abstract reasoning, developing through a sensitivity for imagination and social interaction with others. The third plane (12–18) is the period of adolescent growth, involving the significant biological changes of puberty, moving towards learning a valuation of the human personality, especially as related to experiences in the surrounding community. The fourth plane (18+), involves a completion of all remaining development in the process of maturing in adult society.[ • The young child (0–6) has an absorbent mind which naturally incorporates experiences in the environment directly into its whole basic character and personality for life. This mental faculty, which is unique to young children, allows them to learn many concepts in an effortless, spontaneous manner. It also allows them to undergo the key phenomenon of normalization to return to their true natural development. After the age of about six, this absorbent mental faculty disappears. • Work, not play. Children have an instinctive tendency to develop through spontaneous experiences on the environment, which Dr. Montessori referred to as 'work'. In this sense, the children's normal activity is attached to reality in the present moment, rather than idle play through such means as toys and fantasy.[37 Practical life materials and exercises respond to the young child's natural interests to develop physical coordination, care of self and care of the environment. Specific materials provide opportunities for self-help dressing activities, using various devices to practice buttoning, zipping, bow tying, and lacing. Other practical life materials include pouring, scooping and sorting activities, as well as washing a table and food preparation to develop hand-eye coordination. These activities also provide a useful opportunity for children to concentrate bringing about their normalization. Other practical life activities include lessons in polite manners, such as folding hands, sitting in a chair, walking in line. As the child ages into an elementary program, Practical Life activities take on a practical purpose, such as cooking and vacuuming.
The sensorial materials provide a range of activities and exercises for children to experience the natural order of the physical environment, including such attributes as size, color, shape and dimension. Many of these materials were originally suggested and developed by Seguin in his prior research with scientific education. Examples of these materials are pink tower (series of ten sequential cubes, varying in volume); knobbed cylinders (wooden blocks with 10 depressions to fit variable sized...
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