SENSORIAL ESSAY

Topics: Maria Montessori, Montessori method, Sense Pages: 7 (2511 words) Published: November 8, 2014


Introduction

Family undoubtedly is the main factor in the growth and development of the child. However, next to the family, the classroom is one of the most important places in the world of a child. The Montessori classroom not only determines the present state of the child but also his future wellbeing. A child in his formative years, which are between 2 ½ to 6, is like a receiver, he is open to all kind of transmitters. In “The Absorbent Mind”, Dr Maria Montessori wrote: “There are many who believe that the most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement is being formed” (Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, 1995, p. 22). At no other age has the child greater need of well-informed help and assistance, additionally any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance of achieving his goal. In order to help children connect with their environment and be able to contribute to their self-confidence, Maria Montessori developed a system which is based on creating a natural environment for the child idea. In Montessori way of education, the classroom is called the Prepared Environment. The classrooms are carefully prepared environments, housing an array of carefully designed materials suited to the child’s needs. The first task of a Montessori teacher is to setup her classroom, to create a prepared environment for the child.

Dr. Maria Montessori based her method of teaching young children considering the fact that a child between two to six years passes through the sensitive period for the refinement of senses and they can be assisted in the development of the senses while they are in this formative period. In order to serve this purpose Dr. Maria Montessori introduced a subject called ‘Sensorial’ where the materials are specially designed to enable the children to use their senses to explore different attributes of the world. The sensorial area is designed to expand the range and depth of sense perceptions by the child.

“When we speak of development and growth, we mean an exteriorly discernible fact. But the inner mechanism of growth has only recently been explored, and it is still imperfectly understood” (Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood, 1972, p: 37). Movement and senses are hardly given any importance in the education system, as the school is more concerned about the intellect. This view overlooks the close connection between the mind and the senses which works together in the development of the child. Senses are one of the most important parts of the normal development of child and hence should be given due importance in the education of children. This essay will illustrate the importance of senses in the development of children, specifically how to initiate a child into exercises with sensorial materials and how to help children to discover, learn and replenish with these sensorial materials.

Senses and Sensorial Materials

We use sensorial materials to stimulate our senses; so what are senses? In the most basic definition senses are our receptors, they help us obtain information from the outside world, they are our means through which we gather knowledge from the environment; we can even say that senses are the windows to intelligence through our senses. Senses become increasingly important for the child’s development and it is senses that kick start the working of the intellect. According to Dr. Maria Montessori, senses are organs designed for the apprehension of images from the external world necessary for intelligence, as the hand is the organ used to gain knowledge of the material things necessary for the body. The child reaches to sensorial perception by paying attention, this attention further leads to observation. When the child’s attention is already attracted and his senses are ready to perceive, sensorial materials have...

References: Montessori, M. (1995). The Absorbent Mind, New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company
Montessori, M. (1972). The Secret of Childhood, New York, NY: Ballantine Books
Montessori, M. (1972). The Discovery of the Child, New York, NY: The Random House Publishing Group
Gettman, D. (1987). Basic Montessori Learning Activities for Under-Fives, New York, NY: St Martin’s Press
Lillard, P.P. (1973). Montessori A Modern Approach, New York, NY: Schocken Books
Essays, UK. (November 2013). Montessori Method in Developing Children’s Creativity Young People Essay. Retrieved from http://www.ukessays.com/essays/young-people/montessori-method-in-developing-childrens-creativity-young-people-essay.php?cref=1
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