Definition: Atmosphere comes from the latin “ atmosphaera” which means the gaseous envelope surrounding the earth, and its related to the environment, to the living environment.
This word has a reality and importance in the Montessori pedagogy, so it ended up becoming a concept. He gradually becomes the class but synonymous with particular connotation.
The atmosphere is the space surrounding a thing, a place, a living being.
It is a set of diverse and varied conditions on a psychological and cultural dimension, in which a living being will grow and evolve.
More specifically for children the atmosphere is a vital space and represents a set of stimuli that act on an organism, a living being from the moment of his birth until his death.
Through the atmosphere, the child will act from the inside to the outside, the environment is growing up the child from the inside.
Hence the hypothesis of Maria Montessori: every living creature that is an environment may develop “normally”. (literally hear according to Montessori pedagogy).
Hence some questions:
- what is the enabling environment that children 3-6 years can develop?
- what are the characteristics of this environment?
Hence some questions:
1. The characteristics of the atmosphere:
- the atmosphere must be an atmosphere of life, to support life. It must therefore meet the needs of different sensitive periods of the child. And to do so, the atmosphere must always be ordered, allow movement, language development, the development of sensory, and social sense.
The atmosphere must meet two objectives:
- Help me to do by myself, work to achieve this goal is based on the knowledge and confidence. The atmosphere must promote independence. The educator in the development of its environment and the proposed equipment helps the child in the construction of its independence. The material is proportionate and appropriate to the size and strength of the child, as the furniture. This material will provide the child the opportunity to exercise movements that will lead it to independence. In the mood he is alone and autonomous actions. The teacher is there to offer simple gestures, sharp and clear to the child. These actions will allow the child to organize in life, to acquire own gestures to his social group. Hence the real importance of practical life activities. These activities must be adapted to country, region in which is the Children’s House. Practical life exercises work on two levels of autonomy and independence.
- Help me to be myself, work to achieve this goal is based on the know-being and self-esteem. The child will be able to choose their work according to his desire and interest. This choice is not original and only appears gradually, he is on the path to inner freedom of the child. To be able to choose must be built and have the ability to make choices.
The control error plays on both goals. Since the atmosphere is mainly composed of bright colors, it is denouncing the error. The activities do not pass through the eye of the adult, is the child of himself that corrects these errors, gradually through these checks something will specify in the physical and mental development of the child.
One of the biggest factors of independence for Maria Montessori is precisely this ability to the child to make this self-assessment and accept that one can be wrong.
When the teacher will structure its atmosphere it must meet three qualities:
- clear atmosphere
- delicate atmosphere
- light atmosphere
Due to these 3 points the atmosphere is denouncing the error. The child becomes aware of such errors at the time.
2. The attitude of the educator
The attitude of the educator is also a part of the care of the environment. His attitude is very important, since it’s his attitude that the notion of independence will be able to build.
The teacher should always know to keep an eye on the child to know how to speak to children. The importance of the language used is so important. All said and done the educator must be consistent with the educational project itself.
The notion of values that gives the teaching staff is paramount. The educator is the bearer of values. They need to know to pass them and how far it can go to defend them. Teamwork is also essential.
The physical presentation, body and clothing are also important.
The educator must be consistent in the presentation of the material and must allow the child to use the material without limits. Tell the child that it can use this material as many times as he wants and when he wants it, is a way to tell him that the material belongs to him and is at his disposal.
The time factor also plays important. We must let the child know that he has the time, the educator must know allow time for the child to do his job. It is time that the child is being built.
3. The atmosphere must allow the child to do something that has a purpose.
To attract children to the activity you have to know him raise some interest in a particular activity.
The educator must hold its own atmosphere, give it an aesthetic quality, ensure that the equipment is complete, clean, working condition.
The atmosphere will be more careful, studied, the more the child will be able to work, to be interested. Hold his own and functional atmosphere has a reputation of respect for the child. We realize the holding of the atmosphere how the educator considers children and how he sees himself respectable.
NB: all the material emblem is not available to children. It is also to provide children some collective toys, games that we will phase out throughout the year.
Toys: the Montessori pedagogy is not against. The atmosphere can be equipped with some toys, games. Once that said, Maria Montessori realized in Saint Lorenzo, the children were more attracted to the material than for toys, so she took them and never reintroduced.
This is not to say that Maria Montessori does not advocate the toys in the development of the child, it should not be dogmatic ideas. If the educator introduces toys in his room this means that the child will have a presentation of this toy just like the hardware of practical life.
Today we know that the game, as the work, has its place in the construction of the child. If either or both are missing this creates gaps in the child development process.
There are different types of toys:
- games, educational toys, they are such a job but do not act the same way, do not have the same impact on the development of the child, as the proposed work in the Children’s House.
- Games, toys such as dolls, small cars …. These games allow something else, for example to integrate models of society around the identifications. In this case we are not cognitive side but on the side of the internalisation of models.
NB: in atmospheres can find educational materials such as puzzles.
The practical life materials is not exhaustive, it is just a starting point.
When the Children’s House receives a disabled child, it is important not to adapt the environment to his disability and leave him in his age group.
The framework of the Children’s House in her age division is rigid, it can not accept a child in its 4th year in an atmosphere of 0-3 years, since the child is no longer in the same sensitive periods.