Special education, when imparted, needs to be prompt and done in an impactful way for the children with special needs. The educators who are in charge of imparting this knowledge need to try a number of methods in order to make the overall educational procedure helpful for the development of the students, one of them being the utilisation of the nuances of Montessori education, which is one of the most popular methods of educating the young learners. In the following lines, we will look at how the implementation of the various nuances of Montessori education could be beneficial for the development of the learners of a special child teaching course, who are expected to impart special education to the young learners with special needs in the future.
1. Focuses on Key Developmental Stages
A Montessori curriculum focuses on key developmental milestones in children between the ages of three and five-years-old. Younger children focus on honing large muscle and language skills. Four-year-olds work on fine motor skills and completing everyday activities, such as cooking and arts and crafts. Older preschoolers broaden their learning experience to their communities, through trips and special events. So it can be said that the implementation of Montessori education helps the special needs educators to cater to the development of the students.
2. Encourages Cooperative Play
A future special needs educator needs to inculcate the understanding that in a special needs classroom, students guide the activities they do throughout the day. This encourages children to share and work cooperatively to explore the various stations in the Montessori classroom. Children in Montessori classrooms, by the very nature of the environment, learn to respect one another and build a sense of community, and this is equally important for young learners with special needs.
3. Learning Is Child-Centered
The basics of Montessori education are based on the fact that the learning system is more inclined towards the development of the learners, i.e., it is child-centred learning. Montessori preschool students enjoy a classroom and curriculum designed around their specific needs and abilities that allows them to explore and learn at their own pace and on their own terms. Everything in the classroom is within reach of the child, and furniture is sized for children to sit comfortably. In addition, older children in the class work with the younger ones, so mentoring comes as much from peers as it does from the adult teachers in the classroom, which should be kept in mind while the nuances of Montessori education is implemented for the students with special needs.
4. Children Naturally Learn Self-Discipline
While the Montessori Method allows children to choose the activities they want to work on each day, and how long they will work at a specific task, there are specific “ground rules” for the class that are consistently enforced by the teacher and other students. This environment naturally teaches children self-discipline, and it refines important skills like concentration, self-control and motivation. Every educator wants their students to have the aforementioned skills, especially when they have special needs. So it is extremely important that the learners of a special child teaching course, who are ready to become special educators in the future, inculcate these nuances and implement them for the development of the students with special needs.
5. Classroom Environment Teaches Order
It is extremely important that the future special needs educators have an understanding regarding how Montessori education can help in the development of the classroom environment. All objects and activities have precise locations on the shelves of a Montessori classroom. When children are finished with an activity, they place items back into their appropriate places. This sense of order helps facilitate the learning process, teaches self-discipline, and caters to a young child’s innate need for an orderly environment. When children work and play in an area that is neat and predictable, they can unleash their creativity and focus fully on the learning process.
6. Teachers Facilitate the Learning Experience
The learners of a special child teaching course should have a clear understanding about how to properly facilitate the learning experience for the students. Just like the special needs educators, teachers in the Montessori classroom are “guides” that are there to facilitate the learning experience, rather than determine what it will look like. Teachers take the lead from the children in the classroom, ensure that the ground rules are followed, and encourage students to perform tasks at their own pace. However, teachers do not determine the pace of the classroom – that is strictly up to individual students, as teachers strive to remain as unobtrusive as possible, which is equally possible in the case of the students with special needs.
7. Learning Method Inspires Creativity
Since children are allowed to choose their activities and work at them on their own terms, creativity in the classroom is encouraged. Children work at tasks for the joy of the work, rather than the end result, which allows them to focus more on process than result – a natural path to creativity. Exposure to a wide variety of cultures also encourages children to broaden their thinking about the world and address those concepts in a variety of ways. A future educator who is looking to make a career in the sphere of special education needs to have a prompt understanding about the same.
8. More Effective in Developing Skills
Montessori education always has a prime focus on the development of skills and its implementation in the sphere of special education can be beneficial for future educators, who are currently pursuing a special child teaching course. While math and reading skills appear to be more on par with the age group of Montessori education, social development appear to be higher in Montessori students by this age.
9. Highly Individualized System
Students in the Montessori program are allowed to explore activities and concepts at their own pace. This naturally encourages children to try more challenging areas, which accelerates their learning experience. Learning occurs at a comfortable pace for each student, rather than inflicting the same rate on every student in a classroom. Similarly, it can help in the development of the students in a special education course under the guidance of their educators.
10. Curriculum Focused on Hands-On Learning
One of the greatest benefits of the Montessori Method, particularly during the early learning experience, is the focus on hands-on learning. The emphasis is on concrete, rather than abstract learning, as students work on activities that teach language, math, culture and practical life lessons. Teachers encourage students to concentrate on tasks, and they discourage students from interrupting one another, allowing students to focus on activities until they are properly mastered. It is extremely important for a future special needs educator, who is currently a learner of the special child teaching course to develop an understanding about the overall procedure and thus create an environment conducive for the development of the overall teaching-learning procedure.
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