Our Kindergarten Domeček recognizes the methodology and principles of Montessori education and relies on some elements within its school educational program. From our point of view, as confirmed by experts at Montessori, it is not necessary to cling dogmatically to all principles. On the contrary, such an approach would be too restrictive and could ultimately harm the child. It is important to be able to adapt. Both the environment in which we work and the children and, of course, the time in which we live. The children themselves show us when we do something wrong.
- Partnership approach – mutual respect and respect, respectful approach allows children to build high self-esteem. They will easily abide by agreements, be able to search for information independently and make decisions based on it, cooperate with others, empathize with each other and help when needed. At the same time, he is able to express his opinion, even disagreeing, and to stand up for the other also towards the adult.
- Free choice of work – However, free work does not mean that the child changes activities without ending or doing nothing. Freedom does not lie in the fact that the child is left alone, or that the teacher does not interfere in his education and learning processes at all, the child must choose an activity. The teacher coordinates the children’s activities and must use his pedagogical skills to help the child find an activity that will interest him without orders.
- Age heterogeneity (diversity), cooperative teaching (cooperation)
The term age heterogeneity refers to the association of age-mixed grades. The purpose of age-heterogeneous classes is to create more space for cooperation in the classroom.
- Polarization of attention
In children, all their mental strengths are grouped together, which leads to maximum attention and repetition of activity until their needs are “saturated”. The child enters a state of maximum concentration unconsciously. It leads to a deepening of the child’s interest in the activity and brings feelings of joy. In order for attention to polarize, it is necessary for the child to be in a stimulating environment.
- Ready environment
A prepared environment is an environment that motivates, encourages and entices the child to learn. It is an environment where children can move and realize freely. The class includes teaching aids; thus, the teaching material, which is very illustrative, allows the child to get to know the world in gradual steps.
- Working with error
Mistake is a common occurrence in an individual’s life, no one is infallible. It is important to realize why mistakes are made and what attitudes we will take towards them. Some see their mistake as a personal failure, others try to learn from it. In a Montessori environment, error is understood as a completely natural thing that occurs in the learning process. It should be seen as a useful part of problem solving and especially as a source of new knowledge. Mistakes show us how much we can handle certain things.
- Working with praise
The teacher tries to use the language differently so that he does not evaluate and judge, but at the same time shows that the child has acquired a new skill or shows affection and participation. Every child needs a sense of security, safety, success, to be noticed and to be happy and satisfied with their work. Preschool children are most happy with the work itself, and for school children the result is the greatest reward. And the adult’s overall loving relationship and approach is actually just praise.