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What has the Montessori approach got to do with Right Brain Education? Even before Makoto Shichida was born, Maria Montessori had developed her educational philosophy and methods surrounding the “absorbent mind”. If Glenn Doman is the father of Right Brain Education, Maria Montessori, most assuredly, is the mother.
The absorbent mind is the sponge-like capacity to absorb from the environment what is necessary to create an individual from his or her specific culture. It is the quality of the child’s mind up to the age of about six, when there is a transition to the reasoning mind we have as adults.Age of Montessori
Right Brain Kids – one of the main Right Brain schools available today – built its foundation in the Montessori Method. Many of their activities combine a Montessori approach with Right Brain Education practices.
For these reasons, we believe it is important to understand a little about the Montessori Method.
What is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori Method is a method of education founded by Dr. Maria Montessori who first formulated the method for children with learning and developmental disabilities. She later adapted her method for children with normal cognition and development. The Montessori Method creates a well-planned and structured environment where children can pursue areas of study of their interest.
“That there are numerous “sensitive periods” of development (periods of a few weeks or even months), during which a child’s mind is particularly open to learning specific skills or knowledge such as crawling, sitting, walking, talking, reading, counting, and various levels of social interaction. These skills are learned effortlessly and joyfully. Learning one of these skills outside of its corresponding sensitive period is certainly possible, but can be difficult and frustrating.”Wikipedia
Child-directed learning takes advantage of a child’s potential for learning because it is always easier to learn a subject we are interested in. When a child is focussed on learning a task of his own choosing, the process for learning takes place seemingly without effort because he is in an absorbent state of mind.
The Efficacy of the Montessori Approach
Montessori educational approach might be the surest route to joining the creative elite, which are so overrepresented by the school’s alumni that one might suspect a Montessori Mafia: Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, videogame pioneer Will Wright, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, not to mention Julia Child and rapper Sean “P.Diddy” Combs.The Wallstreet Journal
In a 2006 study from the journal Science, researchers found:
- Among the 5-year-olds, Montessori students were found to be significantly better in “three WJ tests measuring academic skills related to school readiness.” They “were also tested on executive function, thought to be important to success in school… Montessori children performed significantly better on this test.”
- Among the 12 year olds, “the Montessori students’ essays were rated as significantly more creative and as using significantly more sophisticated sentence structures.
A typical Montessori environment encompasses the following:
- freedom of movement and freedom of choice for the children
- structure and order in the arrangement and sequence of the materials
- an atmosphere that is attractive, warm and inviting
- materials that provide active learning experiences
- vertical grouping (in the age ranges 2½ to 6 years, 6 to 9 years, 9 to 12 years, 12 to 15 years)
- a closeness to nature and the natural world and activities and materials that reflect the reality of life, not fantasy
The Montessori Curriculum is broken down into the following categories:
- Practical Life
- Language and Literacy
- Cultural Subjects (which include Geography, History, Natural Sciences, Experimental Sciences)
- Creative Subjects (Art and Craft, Music and Movement, Drama)
Montessori Tools and Materials
- Montessori Hundred Board
- Montessori Maths
- Movable Alphabets
- Cylinder Blocks
- Numerals and Counters
- Trinomial Cube
- World Map Puzzle
- 3D Feel and Find
- Arranging Narrow to Wide Puzzle
- Colour Tablets
Montessori Brands, Manufacturers and Suppliers
- Melissa & Doug Toys and Games
- Elite Montessori Store
- Montessori Toys
- Monressori Materials
- Bambini Montessori
- My Montessori
- USL Education
- The Montessori Method – Maria Montessori
- How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way – Tim Seldin
- Teaching Montessori in the Home: Pre-school Years – Elizabeth Hainstock
- The Essential Montessori – Elizabeth Hainstock
- Montessori from the Start – Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen
- The Absorbent Mind – Maria Montessori
- Montessori Play & Learn: A Parents’ Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six – Lesley Britton
- Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius – Angeline Stoll Lillard