Today, we complete our series on the Montessori Planes of Development with an overview of the importance of developing the joy of learning across each stage.
The responsibility of Montessori educators, as defined by Gretchen Hall, Director of Training at the Montessori Training Center of New England, in her 2011 article How Science Fits Into the Whole Montessori Curriculum (The NAMTA Journal, Vol. 36, No. 1, Winter 2011), is to help children follow their interests and inspire them to move forward. The key is to take Montessori’s theory and move it into 21st century norms. Although exploration and following the child is considered best practice, competition and acquisition of knowledge cannot be under-represented due to societal pressures.
Today knowledge can be acquired with the click of button – memorization is obsolete. The greater value is developing the joy of learning through the sense of wonder. Promoting an individual’s desire to learn, through fostering intrinsic motivation, unlocks the secret to self-learning. Knowing how to be a self-learner aids in the development of creative thinking skills necessary for future leaders. The focus should not be on the product but on the process – how a child obtains the answer is more important than the answer itself. The planes of development, as prescribed by Montessori’s method, provide clarity on the needs of the individual learner and encourage each learner to reach his or her full potential.
Other posts in this series: