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Early Childhood - Essay Example

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The essay aims to discuss the importance of imagination and creativity in young children. It will also describe what the Montessori prepared environment is and how it aids in the development of the child. The essay will give examples of the culture activities in the prepared environment. …
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Early Childhood
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Download file to see previous pages The essay will give examples of the culture activities in the prepared environment. The eight natural laws of development espoused by Dr. Montessori will be elaborated to show how it impacts on a child’s development. Early Childhood “The secret of good teaching is to regard the child's intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination. Our aim therefore is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core” (Montessori, 1989). The Montessori method encourages creativity and imagination. It is believed that creativity is natural and inborn in every child and that life itself is a constant act of creation. This is the reason why the Montessori environment aims to foster curiosity, independence and experimentation. The prepared environment in the Montessori classrooms offers essential elements for the child’s optimal development which includes challenging his imagination to come up with amazing ways of resolving problems. The aim of this environment is to render the growing child independent of the adult. The six aspects or principles in the prepared environment are freedom, structure and order, beauty, nature and reality, social environment and intellectual environment. Since Dr. Montessori believes that the child processes everything through his senses, the prepared environment is designed to provide a calm, neutral, quiet background that encourages and supports independent learning and exploration. The Montessori cultural activities in the prepared environment include geography, history, general science, botany and zoology, music and art. In teaching geography, Montessori schools use the sandpaper globe and the painted globe. In the sandpaper globe, the land areas are covered with sandpaper and the water surfaces painted blue. This globe aims to give children a sensorial and tactile impression of the world. By introducing the terms “globe, “land” and “water”, the child will have a better understanding of the geographical world. A painted globe on the other hand, is a small globe identical in size as the sandpaper globe but the continents are painted in different colors and the oceans are all painted blue. The coloured globe aims to help the child become aware of the relative sizes, shapes and positions of the land masses and oceans. The purpose of both globes is for the visual recognition of continents and oceans and for the child to see the relationship of the continents and oceans of the world. After a familiarization with the two globes, the child is introduced to the jigsaw map of the world. The Montessori jigsaw map of the world is made up of two hemispheres, with each continent as a removable puzzle piece. The colours are the same as the coloured globe. It is easier for a young child to see how the world is represented on a flat map. There is a control map for the child to place the pieces on. The teacher will show the child how to place the pieces on the control map and she invites the child to do the same. The child learns the names of the continents with the jigsaw map of the world in three period lessons. After a knowledge of the continents, the child is introduced to the various animals which live on each continent. Since children are naturally attracted to nature, the Montessori environment is also prepared with natural things such as plants and animals. The cultural materials were designed to allow the child to explore an abstract concept in a concrete form. Materials such as animal puzzles and identical picture cards are used to introduce the child to the animal. The child will then move on to nomenclature cards which identify the different parts of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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