Beyond Learning is Deep Understanding

Rather than learn what the teacher or the text says, children in a Montessori school construct meaning from experiential learning activities. The Montessori learning materials are designed explicitly to create context for children by linking ideas to what they know and helping children see the meaning. The Montessori materials engage the children constantly in their own learning, allowing each to learn — and to understand — by doing. There is time for process, and the fixing of one’s attention on a key experience that engages a unique concentration and promotes the necessary repetition to imprint the experience within the intellect. In this way knowledge is learned with enthusiasm and guided through hands-on experience. Inspiration and motivation is intrinsic in the educational process.

Children in Montessori schools learn largely by doing. Rather than merely hearing and writing, their learning is situated in the context of actions and objects. They learn through the actual, practical experience with a subject rather than just its mere theoretical parts. The learning materials designed for the youngest are applicable in advanced learning right through to Middle School. Embedded in their design is a passage from the explicit and concrete to the abstract and applicable. The process of schematizing, structuring, and modeling concepts with concrete learning materials makes abstraction not only possible, but resulting with depth of understanding.Montessori education makes meaningful connections between ideas and applications, and has real value in making learning both understandable and lasting. Ultimately it is all about promoting curiosity and making learning exciting because of the inherent utility that capitalize on the students’ prior learning. You can give them a fish or teach them to fish.

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