The montessori method offers a child-centred, 'hands on' approach. Montessori (1964) believed that true creativity stemmed from individual freedom of expression. It can be argued that this 'hands on' approach offers children the opportunity to express themselves in creative ways through, for example, drawing, cutting, gluing, painting and. However, it is important that the child has a sense of purpose when undertaking such activities, in order to fulfil the criteria of creativity. As the teacher is often not directly involved in what the child is doing, the danger exists that the child may be acting randomly, thus not working towards a particular objective. The materials used allow for multi-sensory learning. This is another way in which children with different preferred styles of learning can benefit.
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Children are given the chance to direct their own learning. This can help to provide them with the self-confidence they need to be inventive and take risks with their learning; this is an important aspect of the creative process. It also allows children the freedom to experiment with different learning styles, such as visual, auditory and kinaesthetic (Jones and Wyse, 2004 through their individual manipulation of the materials table available. It can be argued that this will increase the chance of a child discovering their preferred learning style, thus making them more receptive to new ideas and ways of thinking. This can also assist with their creative development, as they can use these new approaches to solve new and existing problems. Children are allowed to work and learn at their own pace. This illustrates the notion that Montessori settings are completely inclusive, allowing an 'education for all' approach to be embodied in their framework. It is well documented that children develop at different rates, so this can make children feel more comfortable about their learning. More able children have the opportunity to extend themselves; less able children do not feel 'left behind' (Pickering, 1992). This can prevent children at both ends of the ability spectrum from becoming uninterested or frustrated, both of which have the potential to inhibit creativity if the child's mind is not on the task at hand.
However, in stark contrast, berliner (1975 cited in Pickering (1992 states that other critics have raised objections against the montessori method. These critics believe that it is the montessori method, and not 'mainstream' methods of teaching and learning, that inhibits creativity, due to its 'cognitively-oriented' nature. The fact that opinions seem to differ on the subject suggests that the montessori method has some advantages and some disadvantages with regard to the aim of developing children's creativity. The other factor to consider is whether creativity is encouraged and fostered both during the time when a child attends an early years Montessori setting, and during the time when they attend a montessori primary school. The effectiveness of a number of key aspects of the montessori method with regard to the development of children's creativity, both during early years education and throughout primary school education, short will be discussed. These particular aspects have been chosen because they contrast with aspects pertaining to 'mainstream' early years and primary school education. Some of these aspects are universal to both Montessori early years settings and Montessori primary schools; others solely pertain to older children (in this context, those aged six to eleven) in Montessori primary schools.
Secondly, overall this imaginative activity is purposeful: that is, it directed to brief achieving an objective. Thirdly, these processes must generate something original. Finally, the outcome must be of value in relation to the objective. It is important to consider whether all of these constitutional elements of creativity are present in any particular aspect of the montessori method, in order to argue their effectiveness in developing children's creativity. The importance of developing children's creativity is highlighted in a 2003 report by the qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). The report states that 'learning to think and behave creatively can transform pupils' livesit increases their motivation, self-esteem and levels of achievement. Beyond school, it enriches their lives and prepares them for the world of work.' Therefore, it is crucial for each individual child to be given the means and opportunity to develop their creativity throughout their educational careers: by becoming creative individuals, they can both make. According to Oberle and Vinson (2004 there are a number of critics of 'mainstream' education frameworks who argue that they 'stifle creativity'.
Many activities relate to national Curriculum subjects, although they will not appear as such to the children (Oberle and Vinson, 2004). This nonconformity to external guidelines also stretches to the method of assessment. There is no formal testing in Montessori primary schools (Lopata et al, 2005 conversely, teachers make continuous observations to evaluate children's progress and allow children to participate in the evaluation of their learning (Montessori. Nicholas, 2010) during their education in a montessori primary school, further highlighting the child-centred approach taken. A central aspect of a young child's development and learning, one which will serve them and be a useful attribute to them, both as they progress through the educational system, and through adulthood, is creativity. As a concept, it is somewhat difficult to define; however, the department for Education and Employment (DfEE) published an influential report in 1999 entitled 'All our futures: creativity, culture and education which attempted to. The report defines creativity as follows: 'imaginative activity fashioned so as to produce outcomes that are both original and of value' (Dfee, 1999). This definition is then broken down into four characteristics. Firstly, they the characteristics of creativity always involve thinking or behaving imaginatively.
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Such differences include the fact that 'the children no longer just choose what to work with' (Montessori. Furthermore, they are 'empowered to manage a weekly plan with activities both of which they negotiate with their teacher' (Montessori. Nicholas, 2010 this is tailored resume to the individual child's needs. This suggests that the learning is still child-centred and self-directed to a certain extent, but there is an increase in autonomy and responsibility for one's own learning. To begin with, children are assigned weekly tasks resignation in mathematics, literacy and science; as they get older, these tasks begin to encompass all curricular subjects (Montessori.
In accordance with Montessori thinking, however, the child can choose when to complete the tasks and engages in frequent tutorial discussions with the teacher (Montessori. It can be argued that the reason for this is to encourage and nurture children's developing time and task management skills, and to take an active and co-operative role in their personal development and learning. This sense of collaboration also extends to working with other children in small groups, which happens on a more regular basis than in a montessori early years setting. Together, they can share ideas and collaborate on various projects. Other important differences include the notion that Montessori primary schools make 'no attempt to work to an externally developed curriculum' (Mooney, 2000 however, montessori. Nicholas (2010) claims that the curriculum not only 'fully meets the requirements of the national Curriculum' (an example of an 'externally developed' curriculum but also goes beyond it in certain subjects.
Instead of children taking part in a series of 'lessons' in different subjects between the duration of thirty minutes and one hour, the day is split into two three-hour, uninterrupted 'work' periods (Oberle and Vinson, 2004). An important point to note here is that Montessori defined 'work' as 'children's instinctive tendency to develop through spontaneous experiences in the environment' (Montessori, 1964 further advocating her idea of children acting in a self-directed way. Moreover, in addition to being encouraged to work independently at their own pace, children are never interrupted by the teacher if they are busy working on a task or activity. One final notable difference between a montessori and a 'traditional' learning environment relates to the role of the teacher. Montessori did not use the term 'teacher' to describe the adult charged with the education and well-being of the children in their care; instead, she used the term 'guide' or 'mediator' (Lillard, 1980). This symbolises the idea that the adult in a montessori setting should be seen by the child as a facilitator to their educational development, not an authority figure.
Generally speaking, teachers operate on a one-on-one basis with different children, and there is little whole-class work (Lopata et al, 2005). The teaching approach is much more indirect than in 'mainstream' education: the adult acts in a more observational and advisory capacity. Montessori (1964) maintains that the combination of the learning environment and this indirect teaching method encourages self-discipline, even in the case of younger children. If, however, a child displays undesirable or disruptive signs of behaviour, then the adult will seek to amend the child's focus to some positive activity, rather than reprimanding them or imposing any kind of sanction. Although, according to pickering (1992 such instances are comparatively rare due to the child's level of self-discipline, when they do happen they can be dealt with in a supportive manner without undue disruption to others. As mentioned before, a popular view exists among many people that the montessori method is solely both suitable for, and aimed at, young children under the age of six (Montessori. However, there has been a recent increase in the number of purpose-built Montessori primary schools, catering for children aged between six and eleven. The 'classes' in such schools comprise two vertical age groups: the first for children aged six to nine; the second for children aged nine to eleven. Montessori's underlying theoretical principles remain the same for this older age bracket; however, there are some practical and organisational differences associated with a montessori primary school's provision for older children.
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Materials are kept in accessible places, such as appropriately low shelves (Lopata et al, 2005 so they can easily be obtained and utilised by the children at any time. It is the presence of child-orientated considerations such as these that create montessori's (1964) ideal of the 'prepared environment'. Such environments 'allow children to take responsibility for their own education, giving them the opportunity to become human beings able to function independently and hence interdependently' (Montessori, 1964, cited in Lopata study et al, 2005). In summary, montessori's approach to education advocated that children's innate desire to learn could be successfully nurtured and accommodated, as long as they are provided with the right environment and the appropriate materials (St. Having briefly discussed the principal background information regarding the theory and practice of the montessori method, it is now important to consider the principal teaching and learning differences between a montessori and a 'traditional' primary education. One important organisational and structural difference is that each 'class' in a montessori setting has an age span of at least three years (Isaacs, 2007). These 'classes' share two features in common with 'traditional' education, however: they are mixed-ability, and contain a similar number of children per 'class' (around thirty) to a 'traditional' primary school (albeit not all the same age). The timetable is scheduled differently to 'traditional' settings.
a concrete sensorial experience'. Furthermore, montessori materials are carefully designed to be both sensorially stimulating to young children, and multifunctional to allow for a more open-ended, divergent approach to learning. Another important theme common to all Montessori materials is that they are of gradually increasing difficulty and complexity (Oberle and Vinson, 2004). It is vital that these learning materials meet these criteria, because, as Montessori (1964) stated: 'little onescan work only on the materials we give them'. In other words, if the materials provided for the children are uninteresting, irrelevant or unviable, then it can be argued that a child is unlikely to be able to fulfil their potential. One final issue in relation to the background of the montessori method regards the layout and features of the learning area. It can be seen that it visibly reflects the child-centred nature of Montessori education. For example, desks and chairs are not only child-sized, but also spread wide apart (Mooney, 2000) and arranged in 'rafts' (Oberle and Vinson, 2004) allowing children to move around the whole area freely whenever they so wish, and helping to prevent crowding.
Before a brief discussion of what differentiates the montessori method of education from other educational pedagogies, it is important to know and understand the underlying principles that all Montessori schools adhere to for the benefit of the children who attend them. The montessori method is based on the ideas and theories of Maria the montessori, an Italian physician who experimented with giving young children more freedom, both to direct their own learning, and work and learn at their own pace. In the process, she arrived at two pivotal (and, at the time, somewhat controversial) conclusions. Firstly, she surmised that young children possessed an innate desire to learn (Montessori, 1994). Secondly, she found that young children, contrary to popular belief, were capable of exhibiting high levels of independence and cognitive development for their age under the right conditions. In this respect, it can be argued that they are being treated as individuals. Montessori (1964) strongly believed that all young children were 'unique beings' and should, therefore, be treated as individuals. Furthermore, she reasoned that young children, as well as having the benefit of self-directed and child-centred learning, should also experience a 'hands-on' approach to education (Lillard, 1980 using learning materials that stimulate all five of the human senses. The interaction with, and the manipulation of, ostensible 'montessori materials' is, arguably, one of the most renowned aspects of the montessori method.
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Print, reference this, published: 23rd March, 2015, how really effective is the montessori method in developing children's creativity, both during early years education and throughout primary school education? There are currently approximately 700 Montessori schools operating in the United Kingdom, and this number is growing annually (Montessori. The vast majority of these schools cater for children between the ages of three and six. However, in more recent times, there has been a gradual establishment of Montessori schools that provide primary school education for children older than six. There are now about thirty such primary schools in the United Kingdom (Montessori. Although this is still a relatively small number of schools on a national scale, it is nevertheless an interesting increase to investigate further. These schools use the 'montessori method' to both educate children, and further their holistic development.