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Montessori Philosophy

Learn Through Creation Not Consumption

Children Learn by Creating, and Not by consuming

Children learn better through active hands-on creation and not through passive consumption, and strong synapses help turn memorization into the application.

The shift from learners as consumers to learners as creators produces a more satisfying and effective educational process where little people can more effectively learn through creation and not through consumption. When the brain is passively absorbing the information, knowledge goes in one ear and out the other. Retention of information is minimal and learned concepts are fleeting. 

Learn Through Creation Not Consumption


XXth century educational system trained us to be passive. Students are expected to sit in a classroom quietly consuming information, while the teacher orates the lessons. All children, despite their abilities or disabilities, are expected to learn at the same pace and memorize, while the outcome is measured by test-taking. 

However, there is not a “one size fits all” solution to education as each child’s learning style is as individualized as a child himself.  When knowledge is “passed” from a teacher to a student, we take away the process of co-creation! We stip away experiential learning process where little people absorb by making, exploring, transferring, and manipulating.

Learning is not a spectator sport.

Anonymous

Learning is not a spectator sport. Learn Through Creation Not Consumption

The brain does not learn based on consumption or lecturing, it learns through creation, through hands-on lessons, and the active learning process.  

Learn Through Creation Not Consumption

Instead ofTry
tracing in a workbooktrace in the sand, rice, flour, shaving foam
singing the ABC songmake alphabet letters from sandpaper, pipe cleaners, play dough
counting to 10 like a heart-learned poemplace a basket with manipulative (marblers, sticks, apples, acorns) in another room and ask your child to run and bring you X quantity
learning about shapes in a bookfind shapes in nature or make shapes from loose items
learning to spell one’s namemake the letters of the name from nature finds
reading about types of cloudsmake clouds from cotton
learning about animals in a bookmatch animals figurines to an image
learning to read in a bookmake CVC words from moveable alphabet
memorizing a poemoffer to create one

 

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Children Learn by Creating, and Not by consuming
Children Learn by Creating, and Not by consuming

In a traditional learning setting, a child most often sits at a desk and listens to a teacher. A child is thus a vessel, waiting for the information to be poured into. In contrast, in a Montessori prepared environment, freedom of movement allows a child to be an absorbing sponge rather than a vessel. Montessori children are encouraged to move freely around and engage in an activity by touching, feeling, and doing. When children explore with their hands, they gain a very concrete understanding of the materials. In fact, when children touch and manipulate, explore and create, they are triggering multiple senses while building more and stronger neural connections (synapses). And, later on, abstract learning will naturally result from the concrete experiences they have had through hands and senses.

Neurons communicate with one another at junctions called synapses. At a synapse, one neuron sends a message to a target neuron—another cell. A neuron’s signaling is how neurons “talk” to one another.
Neurons communicate with one another at junctions called synapses. At a synapse, one neuron sends a message to a target neuron—another cell. A neuron’s signaling is how neurons “talk” to one another.

Learn Through Creation Not Consumption

So, how can we enhance the remembering process? How can we turn fleeting short-term memory concepts into long-term retention? By turning passive absorption of information into a hands-on application of the learned concept.

There is no learning without remembering. -Socrates
There is no learning without remembering. -Socrates

What the hand does, the mind remembers.

Maria Montessori

Children also utilize their motoric memory when they manipulate materials with their hands, which enriches the learning process, allowing little people to make discoveries and co-create.

Make Learning Hands-On

Active hands-on learning allows little people to engage in kinesthetic learning. By experimenting with trial and error, children learn from their mistakes, thus understanding the potential gap between theory and practice. Hands-on learning is the common name for ‘Experiential Learning’ – the philosophical term behind the method of immersing oneself in a process in order to learn it. Experiential Learning has been around since 350 BCE, when Aristotle wrote, “for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them”. This method had ultimately become popular in the early 1950s when famous psychologists such as Jean Piaget, John Dewey, and Kurt Lewin shed some light on Experiential Learning, quickly making it a staple in American education.

So, how to embrace it? Let your child DO THE DOING! Offer them to sort and classify, manipulate and transfer, make and create! A child can NOT ‘do the doing’ unless they have been given an opportunity to actually DO IT!

Learn Through Creation Not Consumption

What are your thoughts on Learning Through Creation and Not through Consumption? Leave a comment!


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