According to Dr. Maria Montessori, the senses are the gateway to knowledge. During the first six years, the child is most receptive to sensorial stimulation as they are going through periods of sensitivity. The Montessori Method of education integrates several materials as well as apparatus in the curriculum that caters to the needs and requirements of the developing mind as well as facilitates effective education. Children are susceptible to gathering information and knowledge from the environment.
The Montessori method of education promotes autonomous development through specifically designed Montessori Materials that provide the children with necessary stimuli, which constructively inspire their curiosity and facilitate the development of their inner potentialities. The incorporation of these materials as effective stimuli encourages the child to be aware, attentive and entertained during the education process.
The Montessori method of education gives children the freedom to move around and interact with any material or apparatus of their choice. Each Montessori material has distinct purposes and contributions to the child’s development. The use of synthetic and plastic materials is prohibited in a Montessori classroom. Hence the Montessori Materials are specially developed classroom apparatus made with natural substances like wood, cotton, bamboo, steel, and glass.
Through Montessori Materials the stimulation of visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, tactile, kinaesthetics, vestibular, and proprioception is effectively facilitated to help the child achieve higher levels of attainments.
With the help of these Montessori Materials, the child is able to concentrate, coordinate, memorize, collect appropriate information, understand abstract concepts, and develop a sense of order as well as structure. Montessori Materials assimilate a wide range of materials and apparatus that stimulate and facilitate interactive as well as engaging education.
Due to the diverse variety of Montessori Materials, it can become quite bewildering for most beginners to understand the functions and choose the materials for their younger ones. Here is everything one should know about Montessori Materials.
What are Montessori Materials?
Montessori Materials are an innovative and interactive aspect of the Montessori method of education. These Materials were meticulously designed to facilitate sensorial stimulation, physical development, and cognitive development for the developing minds. Montessori Materials are manufactured from naturally sourced materials like wood, steel, glass, bamboo, and cotton. The Montessori Materials are exciting, engaging, as well as easy to maneuver and are regarded as an integral part of the Montessori curriculum.
The Montessori Materials are introduced to children in a sequence that promotes gradual understanding of complex concepts. Montessori Materials are not only confined to the classroom environment but also act as effective stimuli for the Home Environment to enable the child to achieve holistic development.
What are the Characteristics of Montessori Materials?
Montessori Materials often encourage children to learn through the process of control of error which helps the child identify their mistakes and rectify them. These Materials are introduced to the children in the sequence moving from easiest to complex concepts. The Montessori Materials cover a substantial amount of curriculum to enhance the educational experience for the developing minds.
Characteristics of Montessori Materials are mentioned below:
- Manufactured from Natural Substances
- Based on real-life objects
- Should develop independence and confidence in children
- Promotes Hands-On Learning
- Covers Multiple Learning styles and subjects
- Promotes repetition and identification of errors
- Develops Refined Motor Skills, Gross Motor Skills, and Concentration
- Helps Children learn through the process of trial and error
- Help children discover new outcomes through the process of problem-solving
- Promote Autonomous Education
- Help in simplifying Complex and abstract concepts
How do the Montessori Materials Work?
Montessori Method of Education promotes hands-on learning through meticulously designed materials. Montessori Materials are manipulatives that help simplify complex and abstract concepts. Montessori Materials encourages children to learn autonomously in the following manner:
- Hands-On Learning:
Montessori Materials can be regarded as the gateway to sensorial stimulation. Through hands-on learning, the children are able to learn new outcomes, practice repetition, and several possibilities. Each Material effectively breaks down essential concepts and helps children explore possible outcomes while they manipulate these materials.
- Learning In Sequence:
Montessori Materials are introduced to children in a sequence of easiest to hardest. The Materials are organized and displayed from left to right with the easiest materials starting from the left and hardest placed towards the right. The Sequential layout provides children with a structured environment and curriculum to follow.
- Control of Error:
Montessori Materials are designed to promote Control of Error which helps children identify possible outcomes and mistakes and rectify them through practice and repetition.
- Development of Fine Motor Skills:
Montessori Materials encourage children to perform purposeful movement, activities and explore new possibilities. Many of the Montessori Learning Materials include pincer-grip that promote fine motor skills that prepare children for holding writing equipment like a pencil.
- Autonomous education:
Montessori Materials Promote children are designed to encourage children to indulge in the learning process without the help of an adult. The Montessori Materials help children discover new possibilities through practice and repetition.
- Focuses on one skill at a time:
Montessori Materials often focus on the development of one skill, concept, or topic at a time. This helps children conceptualize complex and abstract concepts effectively. Each Montessori material is designed to help children master their skills in every specific area.
Types of Montessori Materials Based on their Purpose:
The diverse variety of Montessori Materials can be quite perplexing for most Montessori beginners. Montessori Materials can be Categorized in the following sections: