The Montessori method of education is a pedagogical tool that facilitates more than just the intellectual development of the child. The Montessori method is a bridge to help the child achieve optimum excellence in relation to their cognitive, sensorial, physical, social, and emotional attributes. One of the Salient Features of the Montessori Method is the Principle of Sensory Training.
According to Dr. Maria Montessori, The senses are the gateway to knowledge, especially during the initial six years of the child’s life. The Montessori Method acknowledges the importance of sensorial stimulation and incorporates “sensorial stimulation” as a significant part of the curriculum. In the initial stages, the child is highly receptive to the information present in the surrounding environment.
The Montessori method of education is designed to provide the children with necessary stimuli that inspire their curiosity. The incorporation of sensorial materials as stimuli encourages the child to be aware, attentive, and entertained during the education process. Dr. Maria Montessori keeping the needs and requirements of absorbent minds during early childhood years in mind prepared an environment where children are encouraged to become self-dependent and confident.
The Prepared Environment of the Montessori Classroom for early childhood facilitates the stimulation of Tactile, Auditory, Gustatory, Visual, and Olfactory senses. The “sixth” sense of the Montessori curriculum is the Stereogenic Sense. The Stereogeinc Sense in the Montessori Method of Education is defined as the ability to identify the texture, shape, spatial properties, as well as consistency of the assigned object solely on the basis of tactile information (without seeing, hearing, or even smelling the object).
The Montessori Method of education incorporates unique and intuitive activities to develop the child’s Stereogenic sense.
Here is everything the teachers and parents should know to stimulate and develop the child’s Streogenic sense.
What is Stereogenic Sense Exactly?
The Stereogenic Sense is the “sixth” sense in the Montessori curriculum. The stereogenic sense is essentially the combination of muscular and tactile memory. This sense is also referred to as Tactile Gnosis, which is the ability to identify and recognize objects solely on the basis of tactile information meaning the child will not be able to use the visual, auditory, gustatory, or olfactory sense to identify the object.
The Stereogenic Sense strengthens and develops other senses of the child’s especially the tactile senses.
The lack of Stereogenic Sense is called Astereogenis, which is the failure to identify the objects solely on the basis of Tactile sense.
Why is the development of Stereogenic Sense so important?
The Tactile Gnosis is the capability to identify objects without the use of Auditory, Visual, Gustatory, or Olfactory Senses. The stereogenic sense is more important than one might give credit to.
There are multiple benefits one can enjoy after developing the stereogenic sense. Some significant benefits are mentioned below.
- Size and Shape:
The Stereogenic Sense is essential for developing children to help distinguish as well as discriminate between different shapes and sizes.
- Spatial Acuity:
With the help of stereogenic sense, the child can easily discriminate between two separate stimuli in close proximity. Spatial Acuity is a requisite function of the exteroceptive Sensorial system.
- Textures and temperatures:
The child is able to successfully distinguish between different stimuli just by the use of tactile senses.
- Mental image:
The stereogenic Sense allows the child to visualize by creating a mental image.
Stereogenic Activities in Montessori:
Stereogenisis is the ability to identify stimuli without the use of auditory, visual, gustatory, or olfactory senses. The Child is able to perceive information on the basis of tactile senses to provide indications from the stimuli’s texture, shape, size, spatial acuity, temperature, and vibrations. The Montessori Method of Education introduces two different activities to develop and stimulate Stereogenic senses.
Stereogenic Activity using Mystery Bags:
One innovative way to facilitate Stereogenic senses stimulation is by Mystery bag activity.
- An opaque Blindfold
- A cloth bag with a drawstring
- Small Objects with different shapes, textures, and sizes (easily identifiable)
- The adult should invite the child to come and work with them.
- Introduce the name of the activity to the child.
- The adult must familiarize the child with the object before initiating the activity.
- Once the child learns the names of the objects, place them back inside the bag.
- Ask the child to close their eyes and put on the blindfold.
- Guide the child’s hand inside the Mystery bag and instruct them to sense the objects.
- Ask the child to describe the size, texture, shape, or even address the objects by their names.
- Then the adult will ask the child to take out the objects to check whether they were wrong or right.
- Repeat the process with all the other objects in the bag.
Stereogenic Activity using Sorting Trays:
Another way to effectively facilitate Stereogenc stimulation is through Sorting Trays Activity.
- A Tray
- Three Bowls or Dishes
- One Large Bowl (to be placed in the middle of the tray)
- Any object of different shapes and sizes
- A Blindfold
- Invite the child to the workstation and introduce the name of the activity to the child.
- Place the Sorting tray in front of the child.
- The adult will then ask them to close their eyes
- The Adult will then place the largest item in the child’s hands and ask the child to thoroughly feel the object between their hands.
- Then the Adult will ask the child to feel the object once open.
- Then the adult will then place the object in the Large bowl
- Repeat the same procedure for all the items.
- The child will first check the objects and feel the objects from their own hands.
- After this process is completed, the adult will then introduce the name of the objects to the child.
- The adult will ask the child to put a blindfold on their eyes and feel the items again.
- The child will be asked to identify the name the objects and place them in the second tray.
- The child will then be asked to remove the blindfold and see the results.