Montessorian spaces

Montessori spaces and the development of the little ones

Written by Luise Rabelo. Mother, family consultant on child development and Montessori educator, postgraduate student in Neuropsychopedagogy and Early Childhood Education, Architect and Urban Planner. @luiserabelomontessori

Maria Montessori was a woman way ahead of her time, the first to graduate in medicine in Italy, over 100 years ago. Throughout her practice, she was amazed at the way children were treated in psychiatric areas and decided to dedicate her life to early childhood education. This mixture of knowledge in medicine and education gave rise to her teaching method, a true philosophy of life, which is still current today.

Many ask what is so special about this method. It is difficult to summarize. The Montessori philosophy transforms our view of childhood and ultimately changes our view of other people as well. That's because Montessori education goes beyond intellectual education. It is, as she called it, an education for life, which seeks to teach the child to act for himself, to want for himself, to think for himself. It teaches the child to become an individual and build a better society. A child who learns to think, to deal with their emotions, to have the freedom to be who they are, to live the way they want, respecting the individuality and space of each one.

Some people think that creating a human being is intuitive. For me, at least, it wasn't. Studying about childhood made all the difference in my motherhood. In a time of so many screens, electronics and excessive stimuli, it's easy to distance ourselves from what the child really needs. Therefore, I believe we have a lot to rescue and learn from this legacy.

A child is like a seed. Each one has its own specific needs and is born with everything it needs to develop fully, provided it grows in a suitable environment. The plant only grows if the environment provides soil, light and water in balance. The child only develops fully if the environment provides freedom, guidance, respect, affection, options for choice, the possibility of autonomy, among others. The child needs a space where it can experience, explore, move, create, interact.

Nobody questions the capacity of the plant to grow, but what we are offering it. Why do we question a child's ability to develop and not what we are offering him? The child is a reflection of the environment where he lives and the adults with whom he lives. Of course there are factory temperaments, but these can be improved or worsened according to the environment in which the child grows up.

Understanding childhood is essential to provide a fuller development for our little ones and a better world, because the child of today is the adult of tomorrow, and this better world begins at home.

*illustrative images

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