A Montessori Glossary

Nov 19 , 2022

A Montessori Glossary

The following article in this series provides a brief glossary of key terminology used frequently in Montessori instruction. It can be a little intimidating to begin with if you're new to Montessori (almost like learning a new language!). Therefore, it's vital to understand what these terms mean.

Absorbent Mind: Children between the ages of 0 and 6 were thought to have an absorbent mind, which meant that they were actually taking up all of the sights, sounds, words, and impressions that were around them. They pick up knowledge throughout this time without making any effort or labor.

Control of Error: Most Montessori materials (especially those in Practical Life) have a built-in control to let the child know whether or not the activity is being done correctly, allowing for work to be completed autonomously. The number of things in each category, for instance, will be the same after a sorting operation; however, if the items are sorted wrongly, the number of items in each category will be unequal.

Director/Directress: Instead of "teacher," Montessori wanted to use these titles. The Montessori directress is viewed as a facilitator rather than a teacher; she provides the resources kids need to learn on their own. Although "teacher" is frequently used as well, these terms are still in use today in order to be clear when speaking to people who are not Montessorians.

Exercises of Practical Life: These exercises have been thoughtfully created to assist the child as they learn the activities of everyday living. They include everyday chores like sweeping and mopping the floor as well as the practice of fine motor skills like pouring and spooning. They serve as the framework for the 3-6 age range classroom and aid in the child's language and concentration development.

Human Tendencies: Montessori thought that all humans have certain fundamental inclinations in common. These include investigation, labor, dialogue, repetition, mastery, and perfection. They are prevalent throughout all nations and cultures. They are the engine that has propelled culture and civilisation forward.

Planes of Development: Children progress through the four developmental planes (or phases) from total reliance to independence. Ages 0 to 6 are included in the first age plane, called infancy. The child's subconscious mind is taking in everything going on around him at this time. Childhood, the following stage, lasts from ages 6 to 12. A youngster is learning consciously at this stage as they start to investigate the outside environment.

The following plane includes adolescence, which spans ages 12 to 18. As the infant develops quickly, there is some disruption during this time. This contrasts with childhood, which is marked by consistent and deliberate actions. The young adult moves on to adulthood, which lasts from ages 18 to 24, when they can start to figure out how they fit into their surroundings.

Prepared Environment:  Maria Montessori made the observation that a carefully planned setting, as opposed to one that was thrown together at random, may assist children's learning. A component of the prepared environment is work that is arranged by subject area and level of difficulty on shelves. Additionally, the job ought to be comprehensive, appealing, and kid-friendly.

Purposeful Movement: In Montessori, the child is given work to do that involves physical movement. The movement is not superfluous to the work; it is part of the work. In this way the motor skills are developed and strengthened.

Sensitive Period: According to Montessori, children pass through stages where they are more readily able to absorb information than at other times. Children have sensitive periods for order, language, refinement of the senses and large motor skills, small objects, and social behavior. All of these periods take place during the 0-6 year plane of development.


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