by Daria Bredow
At Mooltripakdee International School, we offer your child in the “Early Years Foundation Stage” a very special educational approach: A Montessori Education.
Very special and rare in Thailand, yet, by no means uncommon in Europe, this method, developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori in 1907, quickly became very famous and popular and soon spread to many western countries.
What is Montessori Education?
Montessori education is a very child-centered approach. That means, each child is valued as a unique individual. We recognize that children have individual interests, needs and strengths, and that every child learns in a different way and at his own pace. We support our students in becoming active participants, who question the world they live in, seek knowledge, and try to find the answers by themselves. They learn how to learn- a fundamental ability sustainable over a lifetime.
‘Teach me to do it myself!”
Maria Montessori understood that if you give a child developmentally appropriate materials, and the freedom to follow his interests, he can joyfully teach himself.
Children learn best when they can follow their inner motivation and curiosity – their “intrinsic desire to learn”. Therefore we provide an environment where students have the freedom in deciding what their focus of learning will be and the tools to pursue answers to their own questions. These tools are, among others, the special Montessori Materials, which are based on self-directed activities and hands-on learning.
Montessori learning materials are ingeniously designed to allow children to work independently with very little introduction or help. The students are empowered to come into the environment, choose their own work, use it appropriately, and put it away without help. Self-correction and self-assessment are an integral part of the Montessori materials. As they mature, students learn to look critically at their work, and become adept at recognizing, correcting, and learning from their errors.
This sensorial experience gives a child the chance to learn in different ways – suitable to their preferred learning style (visual, aural, physical/kinesthetic etc.).
Learning from ‘Concrete’ to ‘ Abstract’
Montessori materials use real objects and actions to translate abstract ideas into concrete form. For example, abstract things like numbers, shapes, letters or words become concrete by making it visible and touchable.
That concrete hands-on learning builds a solid foundation and lets the child move gracefully into abstract thinking, which fundamentally transforms his learning.
What are the benefits for my child?
Given the freedom and support to question, to probe deeply, and to make connections, Montessori students become independent, confident and self-directed learners. They are able to think critically and work collaboratively — with an understanding and appreciation that learning is for life.
Daria Bredow is a Preschool Teacher at Mooltripakdee International School.