Fall Course Starts ~ October 1, 2014
The Early Years are Critical for the Young Child
The first 3 years of life are the most important for the development of trust, self-esteem, intelligence and so much more. It is the period Montessori called “The Absorbent Mind” because the child learns without being taught. He takes in everything in his environment without effort and without discrimination in a process that allows for a great explosion of learning.
“…if we compare our ability as adults to that of the child,
it would require us 60 years of hard work to achieve
what a child has achieved in these first three years.”
from The Absorbent Mind, p.6.by Maria Montessori
For Teachers, Daycare Providers and Early Childhood Educators
Build on your existing knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of early childhood development by experiencing the deep insights and awareness that Dr. Maria Montessori taught through her personal discovery of the child. Recent brain research and child psychology support her teaching on the importance of the first years of the child’s life. And, you will be inspired as well.
For Parents and Grandparents
We all wish there was a great manual for perfect parenting. How do we equip ourselves to support the incredible burst of development that happens in the first three years of life?
Some of the developmental work of the child can be incredibly frustrating and maddening for parents who do not understand the task of the child. When a parent understands the cycles of development everything is so much easier. Let us help you understand these critical cycles of development so you can experience your child’s miraculous growth with awareness and joy.
6 Week Course Outline
Unit 1: Introduction and How to Work in Your online course
I observed little children; I sensed their needs; I tried to fulfill them; they call that the Montessori Method. – Maria Montessori
The course is designed to be highly interactive, so you will be reading, watching videos, and discussing what you are learning online. You will experience the following features throughout the course:
- Information about what to do in each unit
- Online and offline text to read
- Online video excerpts to watch
- Assignments to be submitted online for evaluation.
- Forum discussions, which allow you to have living, dynamic dialogue with others about the unit topics.
Unit 2: Putting Your Learning in Context
The activity of the child has always been looked upon as an expression of his vitality. But his activity is really the work he performs in building up the man he is to become. It is the incarnation of the human spirit. - Maria Montessori
In Unit 2, you will watch two videos. A Day in the Life of a Montessori School was filmed in spring of 1981, and Observing in a Montessori Classroom in the fall of 2013. Because both classroom environments were designed with the developmental needs of the child of the child in mind and the adults have been trained to permit the maximum amount of choice and independence, the children in these environments function successfully in their development of self as well as in the development of a functioning community. You see genuine choices, a solid work ethic and deep learning through direct experience.
After watching these videos you will post your impressions and respond to other students and begin reading Maria Montessori Her Life and Work.
Unit 3: Human Tendencies
Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand him. – Maria Montessori
In this unit you will learn about the universal human tendencies Montessori described and how they manifest in the behavior of young children and continue readings in Maria Montessori Her Life and Work and Discovery of the Child.
Unit 4: Sensitive Periods and the Brain
Man’s true nature lies hidden within himself. And this nature, which was given him at conception, must be recognized and allowed to grow. - Maria Montessori
In this unit we will explore Montessori’s ground-breaking discovery of “sensitive periods” in development, affirmed by 21st century brain research, and learn what these special neurological periods of spontaneous, easy learning. We will review brain research on the subject of early learning and have the opportunity to watch a video of Dr. Elisabeth Caspari, friend and student of Dr. Maria Montessori talk about this fascinating subject.
Unit 5: Stages of Development – Conception through Age Six
The child’s development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behavior towards him. – Maria Montessori
In this unit we delve more deeply into the stages of development, from prenatal period to the unconscious absorbent mind of the first three years, the conscious absorbent mind from three to six and then the reasoning mind that takes precedence after the age of 6 or 7. We will look at the characteristics of each stage, all the way up through teens and examine the implications of each in the preparation of the environment and your teaching practice. We also include some great supporting resources for your further study.
Unit 6: Stages of Development – Age Six through Early Adulthood
By helping the child, we become servers and collaborators with that nature which is creating him and we find that his whole program of studies has already been laid down. - Maria Montessori
In Unit 6, we discuss the sensitive periods and the expansive mind of the six- to twelve-year-old, the vision of the universe we offer as curriculum and a brief examination of the mind of the twelve- to eighteen-year-old.
We are pleased to welcome you to this journey of examining the stages of development of the young child. Maria Montessori’s profound understanding provides us with a clear and sure path to follow as we accompany the child in his development. We know this information will prove of practical use to you.
Fall Course Starts ~ October 1, 2014