Montessori Teaching - So whats all that about? August 9 2016
In the early days of EdUKaid local village schools were visited and it became clear that a pre-primary classroom and teacher were missing. The children, just 4-6 years old turned up every day in their uniforms ready for school but they were often left unattended usually under the shelter of a tree. It is widely believed that pre-primary serves as a foundation for better educational outcomes yet many children were missing out on it. UNICEF understand that in Tanzania only 35% attend pre-primary and of that small percentage many children are met with this:
Pre-primary children at Likonde before the school was renovated
After deciding that the children were massively missing out we started to introduce pre-primary classes. This often meant building a classroom from scratch or doing up an unused building, employing Montessori trained teachers, assistants and providing a variety of resources. Montessori education fundamentally focuses on giving support to the natural development of a human being.
A set of Montessori resources at Lwelu Primary
The elements of a Montessori classroom include:
- Mixed aged classrooms.
- Students choice of activity from a range of options.
- Specialised educational materials.
- Freedom of movement within the classrooms.
- A trained Montessori teacher.
After initial training learning does not stop for the teachers. Just this week a group attended an event put on by the Montessori Training Association of Tanzania. Importantly in the last few years we have started running workshops with our pre-primary teachers and assistants to support them and so that they can learn from each other. Hundreds of young students have benefitted from these classes and hopefully hundreds more will in the future.
A pre-primary student concentraing at Imekuwa Primary
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