Montessori materials do not limit imagination.
Another negative point coming from the critics of Montessori’s Method (taken from The Essential Montessori by Elizabeth Hainstock) is that:
Organising the way each child is to use a piece of apparatus doesn’t allow enough room for imagination, creativity and spontaneity.
The introductory method on how to use a particular didactic materials serves as a starting point for young children in order to help them to establish a certain concrete pattern in their mind. Once a child knows how to use a material in a safe and appropriate way, often a child will freely work with the materials, experimenting with the equipment or challenging themselves in a playful manner. For example, a child can only understand the value of the numbers (1-10) after working repeatedly with the concrete materials in the early mathematics area, and carry on to explore large quantities of numbers (hundreds and thousands) with the golden beads, without feeling fearful, embarrassed or discouraged.
Montessori learning is an experimental approach, and the auto-educative materials are a sparkle that will strike the child’s inquisitive and logical mind to make sense of the world around him/her. Whilst you ponder on this, enjoy the TED talk below by Sir Ken Robinson on education and creativity.
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