Monday, July 11, 2016

Nature plays an important role in child education


Dr Maria Montessori always said that “a child, who more than anyone else is a spontaneous observer of nature, certainly needs to have at his disposal material upon which he can work.”

Children by nature are cautious and careful about living beings around them -- be they animals, insects or plants. If they see a dry plant in need of water they will be anxious to water it as soon as possible. They keep collecting things from nature’s treasure like feathers, leaves, flowers, and straws. We may call it natural learning or learning from our environment.

A child experiences real joy when he or she sees ducklings early in the morning and butterflies of different colours. Children feel excited to place a seed in a garden and wait eagerly for a little plant to appear. They find extreme pleasure in exploring the natural environment around them. Children connect with nature beautifully. 
Montessorian Fariba took her class children out for natural learning
The Montessori Method helps children to build a strong connection with nature. The Method includes learning about animals and plants, the preparation of an aquarium, and cultivating plots for growing vegetables as a way to build upon this connection. In the Montessori method, teaching about nature and being with nature, both are equally important. Constant changes in our lifestyle lead to problems like childhood obesity, which presents serious health threats for children including heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, social and psychological problems.

Parents and educators should provide more and more opportunities for children to connect with nature and its surroundings so that they can explore more & more natural sciences.

Dr Montessori observes: “This kind of study methods have led to a spontaneous and purposeful exploration of nature and to a number of discoveries made by the children themselves.”