The Implementation of Montessori Concepts for Early Childhood Education
Children are not small-size adults. Therefore, they have to be treated in accordance with their stages of development. Many examples showing how the parents and community in general not treat the children according their stage development levels.
Parents often pressure their will to the children and sometime school teachers put pressure that don't match with the children stage of development.
It appears that there are two things to note on early childhood education :
- Educational Materials
- The Educational Methods Used
Both of them should consider their development level. Taking into account the level of development also means considering their development tasks, because each period of development is also a specific development task.
The early childhood education is a development effort aimed at children from their birth until the age of six years that go through provision of educational stimulation to assist the growth and physical and spiritual development in the intention to make the children be more ready to have their further education.
There is a need for an educational program designed in accordance with their level of development. So, we need to make or return the classroom to the playground, where they may singing, moving freely and make the classroom as a creative forum to the children. Make the classroom feel like home and psychologically comfortable.
What Is Montessori
According to Wikipedia, The Montessori method is a child-centered, alternative educational method based on the child development theories originated by Italian educator Maria Montessori (1870–1952) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Montessori name is famous but not a trademark. So, there are many preschools and primary schools are influenced by Montessori or bearing little resemblance. According to Montessori, when we are educating children, we should remember that they are unique individuals and will develop according to their own abilities. Our job as adults, parents, and educators is to provide means of encouragement and facilitate them when they are ready to learn something.
The first year of a child's life period is excellent for a formation. This period is also the most important period in the development of the child, both physically, mentally and spiritually. Montessori believed that education begins from the baby was born. The baby could be introduced to the people around, voices, objects, make some jokes and talk to them. It will make the child develop into a normal and healthy child.
There are at least 4 stages of development :
- From birth to age 3 years, children have sensory sensitivity and they have begun to "absorb" the experiences through their sensory. Children at these age are really like sponges.
- 6 Months to age 3 years, children start to have language sensitivity and it's the best time to develop their language capability like talk, and have conversation with other people.
- From age 2 to 4 years, muscle movements began to be coordinated well, to walk or to move a lot of semi-routine and routine, interested in small objects, and began to realize the sequence of time (morning, afternoon, evening, night).
- From age 3 to 6 years, children tend to increase their sensors sensitivity, specially at the age of 4, they will have the writing sensitivity and until age 6 years they will have a great sensitivity to read.
Montessori Method in Kindergarten
At the age of 2-4 years old children want to play, do the exercises in groups, doing exploration, said, imitating, and creating something. At this time children experience rapid advances in self help skills and the skills to play. The whole system is flexible motion, often repeated acts of interest and perform naturally without shame. In kindergarten, children are also experiencing rapid progress in the mastery of language, especially in vocabulary. The interesting thing, the kids also want to be independent and not much else to depend on others.
Children will learn :
- Learning physical skills necessary to play.
- Building a healthy attitude about theirself
- Learning to adjust to their peers
- Develop a social role as a man or woman
- Developing notions needed in daily life
- Developing conscience, morality and appreciation manners
- Develop basic skills for reading, writing, mathematics and numeracy
- Develop themselves to achieve self-independence.
If children have a good and supporting environment of education in their home or in school, they will develop in their best way. Teach our children with love, understanding, in the peace and harmony situation. They are so tender and weak yet so strong and hard creatures. Children should have education that expand their mind, education that develop their sensitivity of heart and emotion, and education that increase their skill.
Character education is emphasized that for an early age even for those who are mature, learning activities and education activities as a deliberate but natural like playing in the "park". Like a family that was caring for and guiding their children naturally in accordance with how children interact in a park. Children who experience a warm family atmosphere, friendly, peaceful, both at home and at school, and guidance with love, training habits naturally, will develop into a happy and healthy child. And later happy and healthy adults.
It is necessary to give an interesting and fun education for the kids. we can always "wrapped" it with the game, the cheerful atmosphere, light, with singing and dancing. Not a full learning approach with a heavy task, especially with the high level of knowledge, skills that could burden the children.
At the age of five years, in general the children both physically and psychologically are ready to learn things more simple and not be on long enough at school. After 2-3 years of age experiencing some rapid growth. At the age of six years, in general the children have experienced growth and variety of skills physical skills. They are able to perform movements such as jumping, catching, throwing, and dodging. In general they can also have a mini bike or a tricycle. Sometimes for some children these skills have been mastered at the age of 4-5 years.
Montessori gives the teacher's role and influence of environment on the development of intelligence, as follows:
- 80 % free activities and 20 % activities with teacher in guidance.
- Perform various tasks that encourage children to think about relationships with other people
- Offering many opportunities to have social interaction with free interaction.
- Children will find the theory themselves not given by the teacher.
- Pronounced rules obtained through pattern recognition, not by rote. All the curriculum aspects include thinking.
Montessori said that at the age of 3-5 years, children can be taught to write, read, spoken by learning to type. While studying typing the children learn to spell, write and read. There was a study in America concluded that the fact that children can learn to read before the age of 6 years. The results of this study indicate that there are approximately 2% of children who are learning and able to read at age 3 years, 6% at the age of four years, and approximately 20% at 5 years of age. Even proved that the learning experience in kindergarten with adequate reading ability will greatly support the ability to learn in the following years.
Montessori opinion is supported by Moore, a sociologist and educator, believes that the life of the early years are the years of the most creative and productive for children. Therefore, as far as possible, in accordance with ability, level of development and the sensitivity of their learning, we can also teach writing, reading and math at an early age. What is important is the strategy of learning experiences and learning in packaging precision interesting, fascinating, full of games and fun, easy without the burden and take their children.
One of the things that needed to be able to increase the child's intelligence development is the family atmosphere and friendly class, warm, and be democratic, as well as offering opportunities for social relationships through the free interaction. This is indicated partly by the relationship and communication that warm and friendly. .
At the age of 2 - 6 years, children are very happy if given the opportunity to determine their own desires, because they are in need of independence and attention. In this period also comes a sense of great curiosity and demand fulfillment. They are encouraged to learn about new things and really like to ask in order to learn something. Teachers and parents should give a reasonable answer. Until this age, children still love to imitate everything his parents do.
Keep in mind also that the child's interest in something that did not last long, so teachers and parents must be good at creating a variety of activities and not rigid discipline with a boring routine. Children in this period will also develop intelligence rapidly if given the respect and praise, accompanied by compassion, while providing understanding when they make mistakes or failures. With affection received, the children will develop the emotional and intellectual, the important thing is giving praise and rewards appropriately.
To Facilitate the level for the physical development of children, in kindergarten need to be made a playground equipped with display devices and equipment other skills, because at the age of 2 - 6 years the child's physical development is growing very rapidly, and at the age of the children need to be introduced to the facilities and equipment to play, in order to better stimulate the development of physical and psychological development of children, especially for intelligence.
Many studies have claimed that people who are smart and successful in general comes from an open minded family, like a test, like investigating things, like travel (exploring the nature and place), and active, never quite and do nothing. Remember the hand skills are a window to knowledge. In the learning process that provides opportunities for children to do the testing (trial and error), to have investigation together, see and touch something object, experience and do something, the kids will be much easier to understand and achieve results by being able to take advantage of learning or apply what they have learned.
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