The little child carries within himself a heavy chaos. He is like a man who has accumulated a vast quantity of books, piled up without any order and who asks himself 'What shall I do with them? When will be able to arrange them in such a way as to enable him to say 'I possess a library.'
The library is the ordered mind.
A disordered mind drifts and is subjects to the whims of chance and circumstance. It is the kind of mind most people have they cannot stick to a point or follow an argument above all they cannot think in principles, cannot generalise. An ordered mind is capable of an understanding of knowledge. With an ordered mind a child has a faculty to reason which will enable him to meet all eventualities and utilise the environment for his own benefit. The ordered mind is a scientific mind. This may sound non-creative but creatively is a consequence of rationality. It is based on reason and facts. The Montessori Method trains him to judge what is true and what is false.
In the Primary School the curriculum of a normal Nigerian school is followed but is presented and taught in a different way. We have twenty classrooms fully equipped with Montessori Apparatus and we use the Montessori materials to teach the child. Using our Practical Life materials, he learns to care for himself and his environment whilst improving his gross and fine motor controls. He learns social graces in a clam and orderly environment. All the activities are presented to the child in a set and orderly fashion. He learns a work cycle; beginning, carrying out the activity and ending. He learns to put away his equipment
The Montessori method of education is founded on ten basic principles:
1. Children are qualitatively different from adults and require a different approach.
2. The whole child is educated, physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
3. The child is an active learner.
4. Intrinsic motivation
5. Self-discipline is encouraged
6. There are sensitive periods in development
7. A child-centred approach starting with what the child can do.
8. The inner life of the child is respected.
9. Social interaction
10. The environment affects the child's developmen.
The Sensorial Apparatus is used to maintain maximum refinement of the senses and to help him discriminate between stimuli. The apparatus presented to him is at all times appropriate to his stage of development so that he can complete the cycle of work. It helps to prepare him for listening, speaking, reading, writing and mathematics.
The children are given the freedom to choose their activities within their developmental range but this choice must represent knowledge. This freedom is within limits and must not impinge on other children, so it has its social limitations. Children are allowed the freedom to make mistakes. The teacher/director keeps records at all stages.
Individual work with the Montessori materials is supplemented with other activities such as Group Singing, Musical Appreciation, Creative Arts, Crafts, Poetry, Games and French