HOW DO WE WORK THE MONTESSORI PEDAGOGY AT BOND?
Montessori & Primary
HOW DO WE WORK AT
In order to carry out appropriate accompaniment, at Bond we take in mind the pedagogic contributions made by Maria Montessori.
In this respect, to develop our educational task, we base our work on one of the most interesting positions in her philosophy: The four planes of development.
According to this position, every child is able to spend from birth to mature life going through four different periods, each of which is different from the previous, but all part of an indivisible process.
These periods are the basis for understanding the child’s needs in each moment, and how to offer tools to develop their potentialities instead of repressing them.
Below, we show a summarized chart of the four planes of development:
At Bond we accompany boys and girls from 3 to 12 years old, so our planes of action would be the first, regarding infancy (3-6) and the second, regarding childhood (6-12).
So as to address this subject, we have to understand that during these development stages we find three concepts that act as indispensable and essential pillars to finding development in children.
These three pillars are interconnected within each other and each one requires the other:
The child’s mind
The prepared environment
The connected adult
SUMMARIZED CHART OF THE FOUR PLANES OF DEVELOPMENT
0-3 years - Absorbent unconscious mind
3-6 years - Absorbent conscious mind
"Help me to do it myself"
Physical and biological independence
Exploring the environment through senses. What?
Major physical and psychological changes
12-18 years - Humanistic mind
“Help me to think with you”
Transition from family life to life in society
Major physical and psychological changes
6-12 years- Reasoning mind
“Help me to think for myself”
Explore ideas and information. Why? How?
18-24 years -Specialist mind
“How can I help you?”
Moral and emotional independence
Self-awareness and self-regulation
End of stable growth
THE CHILD'S MIND
The first Plane of Development encompasses birth to 6 years old, and is characterized by the child’s absorbent mind, which can absorb the information found in their surroundings through senses. That is, the minds of infants acts like a sponge, absorbing, assimilating and interiorizing everything around them.
Absorption of information is made differently, keeping in mind that this plane of development is clearly divided in two sub-planes:
0 to 3 years: Unconscious absorbent mind
3 to 6 years: Conscious absorbent mind.
In the second plane, from ages 6 to 12, children have a “reasoning mind”, to explore the world using their imagination and abstract thought. Girls and boys of these ages are usually characterized by the need for investigation and practical exploration.
Although the information is assimilated one way or another, what mechanisms do children use to capture it, to be attracted by it?
In order to explore this point, Bond team bases its educational practice on one of the most important discoveries that Maria Montessori gained from her observations and which, as at now, has been confirmed by the field of neurosocience: sensitive periods.
“Sensitive Periods” or universal phases, that all children around the world experience, are what happen when they are moved to act in a certain way. That is, windows of opportunity that let them learn what they need to adapt to their environment effortlessly and easily. In these periods, children show great interest in a specific ability, and perfect it by repetition. Once past the sensitive period for a certain ability, it is much more difficult for natural learning to occur spontaneously and naturally, and in any event will involve some effort.
Keeping in mind these ideas, we understand that each child is different and, therefore, their needs at each moment are in line with this idea.
For this reason, we should parent the child and in order to supervise them we have to pay attention to their sensitive periods and we should do so by direct observation.
At Bond Montessori we give great importance to the environment’s design and organization.
A large part of our work is focused especially on observing and finding out the evolutionary needs shown by each child, so as to create a space of optimal, significant work.
Our areas are called “prepared environments” because they are specially designed for and by children’s enjoyment. They are organized carefully to foster their self-learning and growth, merging the American curriculum with the Montessori curriculum.
Montessori materials are designed for self-education, intended for experimentation and sensory and life-learning manipulation by children who, by using them, build themselves.
Through these materials, children will advance from specific materials to abstraction so as to build their own intelligence.
The materials designed by Maria Montessori have the following characteristics:
They are scientifically designed materials: they are the product of long observation and experience with children.
They isolate qualities: the activities that provide us the materials show us one single concept at the same time and therefore a single difficulty.
They are sensory and manipulative materials: they allow children to handle them while exercising their senses, providing the child with the experience of feeling concepts specifically before passing into abstraction. This sensory manipulation of objects provides an acquisition of the concept more deeply than based on own experience.
They are materials adapted to each child’s strength and size: this way, they are easy to handle so eliminating the barriers they constantly find by being small.
They are highly aesthetic materials that attract children so they use them and, apart from their beauty, are prepared in a very attractive order which invites children to pick them up and put them back in their place.
They are self-correcting materials: these materials allow children to self-evaluate and correct themselves. They can find out whether they have made a mistake and can correct it without feeling subjected to an adult’s constant assessment. This way, any error stimulates a child’s action that does not involve seeking our approval, but for our own progress and self-construction.
THE CONNECTED ADULT
From the Montessori point of view, an adult must acquire tools of respect that lets them address a child without prizes or punishment, nor competitions and of course from kindness and stability.
We are therefore saying that the adult passes from being a child’s a controller to simply trying to connect with him or her through empathy, communication, love, equality, humility…
Accordingly, before starting this method, we must know the child, the evolutionary period in which their sensitive periods lie.
Respecting their rhythms, adapting to the needs of each stage. Making an observation, offering them what they need in each moment. Deeply respecting their characteristics and personality.
Characteristics of a Montessori Guide/Teacher
Montessori education seeks to educate children integrally: with physical, social, emotional and cognitive growth.
Besides helping the child to be an independent learner, teachers should foster group participation, collaboration and respect for the dignity of others.