Wheaton Montessori News
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” – Socrates
Maria Montessori’s observation and work shows us that children – infants and newborns – are not “empty.” They come into this world carrying within them the tools they will need to discover the world. These are tools that the intrinsically know how to use and are in use from the moment of birth. What are these tools? The senses. Through these tools, we explore our world. We make discovers, we connect experiences, we form memories. We learn.
As teachers and parents, our job is to fan the flames that are already ignited within the child. How can we do this? By encouraging the use of the senses, providing opportunities for our children to explore, and providing language that helps our children name the feelings within them.
In the Montessori classroom, an enormous amount of the materials are dedicated to the sensorial experience. Color tablets, the Pink Tower, the Sound Cylinders, and more help children explore differences and similarities. Connections are made – within and across materials. With the guidance and encouragement of the classroom teacher, vocabulary grows and curiosity deepens.