Early childhood education across the world has been influenced by the pioneering work of Maria Montessori, and this book provides a complete overview of Montessori pedagogy and practice. It considers the Montessori approach within the context of early childhood education and care, and examines it in the light of new insights from the fields of neuroscience and child development.

By helping the reader understand the influence of Montessori on contemporary early years policy and practice, the book outlines ideas relevant to all early years settings, and suggests ways for all early childhood educators to apply these ideas in practice.

The book looks in detail at:

  • The Montessori story
  • The child as worker and the adult as observer
  • Developing independence and concentration
  • Using the senses to build the foundations for learning
  • Early communication and language
  • Early mathematics
  • Cultural knowledge and understanding
  • Maria Montessori, and other early childhood pioneers

Within each chapter are definitions of the key concepts of the Montessori approach, questions for reflection and discussion, activities and suggestions for further reading. This book focuses on the 3 to 6 age range.

The Exercises of Practical Life

The exercises of practical life

Chapter Objectives

  • To introduce the first of the two foundation areas of the Montessori curriculum, the exercises of practical life.
  • To consider the exercises of practical life as a means of refining motor control, regulating attention and developing self-confidence.
  • To explore the role of imitation and repetition in the practical life exercises.
  • To provide an overview of different types of practical life exercises for children at different stages of development.

Movement directed by the mind is the means by which children learn to regulate their attention and to concentrate in Montessori classrooms. Children first learn to concentrate in Montessori classrooms during the exercises of practical life. These exercises, according to Montessori educators, help children learn to make voluntary choices, not controlled ...

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