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Some notions on the distribution of class groups Montessori::

The age distribution:

  • 0/3 years: absorbent mind unconscious: psychic embryo
  • 3/6 years: absorbent conscious mind: Social embryo
  • 6/12: development of man: Installs the characteristics of its species.

Maria Montessori divided the children following these age groups because it said that within these age groups the children were crossing the same sensitive periods.

What are sensitive periods:

  • Characteristics:

By observing the behavior of children in several countries of the world, Maria Montessori realized that:

  • all children go through the same periods sensitive to specific moments of their lives;
  • these periods are transient and gradually grow;
  • during the sensitive period the child is totally absorbed in his work;
  • these sensitive periods are not isolated from each other; it is possible that several periods overlap as they are inter-related and mutually supportive.
  • The course of a sensitive period:

Each sensitive period occurs in two phases:

  • first: inside, (thus hidden)
  • one second: Outdoor (noticeable).

The process begins with a psychological nature of construction. This construction is not visible but is essential. Once it has reached a certain level, an external activity manifests and construction becomes visible. This allows for a development is about to occur. The activity will be intense and will last a long time. The child is now in full interaction with an aspect of its environment and is more interested in what is happening around him. So it can happen it does not comply when called because the child is too concentrated by what he does. After his inner hunger sated, it will seem satisfied, calm and show no signs of fatigue on the contrary, he is enthusiastic and rested! A child who is in a sensitive period focuses spontaneously. If this concentration is stopped, it may in the long term to have problems for it to develop. Certainly the concentration is a trend but it needs support to grow.

Sensitive periods for different age groups:

3/6 years:

  • order
  • Movement    acquisition of the characteristics of its species
  • language
  • social
  • sensory

Once everything is installed:

6/12 years:

  • Imagination
  • Exploration   apprehends the world through thought and moral sense
  • Culture
  • Moral Sense

12/18 years:

  • social identity
  • Group membership

Maria Montessori wrote that the child at age 6, enters a new development plan. However, the child of 3-6 was very turned on itself, simply to better build, as the child enters the 6-12 age peers. He plays in a pack”, but learns “in packs” too.

In 3-6 years, the rule is the individual presentation. In 6-12 is the collective presentation. Why? Because children learn better together, discovering together, cooperating. The synergy of their work makes it much more effective.

The mix of ages create a real dynamic promoting exchanges, mutual assistance, respect and absorbent mind.

6-12 years: Explorers

On 6 year-old, child has become autonomous, he mastered his gestures, his thought, the words, he is ready to explore the world! He is interested in the why of things, it is now building his thought, his value system (example: justice + 6/9 years) process that will lead to independent and intellectual thought. This is what Montessori called: Cosmic Education.

= construction of the meaning of justice, of conscience, imagination, culture.

The ambiance 6-12 year program, to accompany the discovery of its environment. The teacher is there to help him become a researcher, discoverer, all that is needed to understand their environment, to take his place in society.

The year starts with great stories that pose the framework:

  • the creation of the earth
  • the emergence of life   CF: CULTURE SCHOOL
  • the great history of the alphabet

From there, always through short presentations, he is invited to redo or as a basis in research or small jobs, the child will explore different areas:

  • that of language
  • mathematics
  • geometry
  • biology (physiology, breathing, circulation)
  • history (concept of time)
  • Geography (creation of earth)
  • the arts (visual, media)

The child in this age, desire to understand, we are here to encourage, accompany her curious mind, make everything has excited the world in which he lives.

He likes:

  • teamwork, find its place, take part
  • make active searches
  • Community Work (garden cakes .)

The class becomes a micro-society, social order becomes important, the organization, everything is made to arrange the freedom to choose his work … arbitrary choice exercise free will. (initiated by 3/6 years)

The material always a link, more discreet then disappears with the transition to abstraction.

Allowing the child to be autonomous in their learning, he accompanied him to abstraction, at which point, the material will not be necessary.

This is also the age to live with others, the child works more readily in small groups, he spent time managing its relationship with the other (for example), and incorporates the rules of life. He gradually learns to develop his own responsibility, he developed his own self-esteem and thus conquered its independence

“The intelligence can only be led by desire. For there to be desire, it needs to be fun and joy. The intelligence grows and brings fruit in joy. The joy of learning is as essential as breathing to school runners”

Maria Montessori