Preparation for the 21st Century
The needs of today’s work force require an individual to have many abilities. Workers need to be capable of making decisions, completing tasks, and solving problems. They need to possess critical thinking skills, self- motivation, reliability, responsibility and self-confidence.
Environmental scientists tell us that we need to be good citizens for our “Global Village.” Sociologists cry out the need for people who can live peacefully in an ethically diverse society.
While most of us agree that all of this is needed, we begin to feel overwhelmed. Newspaper headlines and television specials are telling us of education’s failure to produce academic competence in the basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. How then can we meet the challenges and provide our children with the tools for success and maybe even survival they need in the 21st century?
Psychologists tell us that the preschool years of a child’s life are the most crucial period of development. It is in these early years that children form their opinions of themselves, their capabilities, and their worth. It is in these years that they develop trust, coping skills, attitudes, toward others and the world around them. It is in these early years that the foundation of their life is set.
It is only logical then, for us to begin preparing children to meet the challenges of life in their early years by providing them with a supportive environment, which nurtures their normal development. Montessori is an approach to early childhood education, which meets these challenges!!
Early in the 1900’s, Dr. Montessori began her life long study of child development. Her research covered every area of a child’s growth: physical, social, emotional, and academic. As she observed children at play, their own curiosity and activity lead them to joyful acquisition of knowledge. Young children possess an inborn love of learning!!
The natural love of learning is the cornerstone of the Montessori educational approach. Areas are prepared to invite young children to explore, discover, and to teach about the wonderful world in which we live. Their natural curiosity leads them to discover differences in shape, size, color, letters, numerals; to discover numerical values, phonetics, geography, science, and more! As the young child explores, the Montessori trained adult is able to direct a child’s energy and support his desire for learning in a manner which promotes self-confidence.
Montessori children readily gain basic academic skills; they acquire positive work habits and attitudes, which serve them all of their lives. These children have the opportunity to acquire the abilities and sensitivities to meet the demands they’ll face in this century. Montessori is a gift that lasts a lifetime!