Montessori movement for Seniors

‘Our Montessori consultants are always saying respect and dignity are key,” in helping people [Alzheimers patients] succeed with the Montessori methods, Dr. Cameron Camp

It’s wonderful that Montessori has a new way to help Alzheimer’s patients. The main object is to have the patients become as independent as possible and to function at their individual level.

Banta and Self Discovery

Dr. Thomas J. Banta studied how children react and learn in environments where they are not told what to do, but rather were given freedom to actively self discover in the classroom. His report from January through November 1966 from testing over 300 preschoolers from various socio-economic groups and different types of preschools reveals how well Montessori schools work for underprivileged children. He placed the participants in 3 different groups:
Group 1-Children who did not attend preschool from poorer families.
Group 2-Children who attended preschool from poorer families.
Group 3-Children who did not attend preschool from families who made average to high incomes.

Here are the main conclusions from “The Montessori Way” by Lena Gitter.

” Privileged children, as might be expected, are far suprior in innovative behavior; pre-kindergarten can modify this condition but privileged children have a considerable headstart. Dr. Banta also discovered that the best results among disadvantaged children were obtained in a Montessori classroom.

Analytic thinking can be trained in pre-kindergarten classrooms, but again the privileged child has the advantage. Once again, Montessori class showed the greatest improvement, and it was a large one.

Learning processes are greatly improved through pre-kindergarten experience, and under certain conditions disadvantaged children do slightly better than privileged children. Dr. Banta does not yet make further statements on this point, but research undertaken by others, which backs him up, points to the necessity of providing those pre-kindergarten learning conditons which will enable the disadvantaged child to achieve his potential, both for his own good and for the good of society as a whole.”
Gitter goes on to conclude, “It is not surprising that such detailed experimental work supports Montessori’s discoveries and reccommendations, for she spoke of her work in similar language: “It is by scientific and rational means also that we must facilitate that inner work of psychical adaptation to be accomplished within the child, a work which is by not means the same thing as “anyexternal work or production whatsoever.” (Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook, Montessori)

Children basically learn by self discovery, they have an intuitive urge to learn in an enriching environment.

Alzheimers and Montessori

Research demonstrates the “wake up power” of breakthrough interactive book for Alzheimer’s patients. Glued in “touchable objects,” bright pictures, large print stimulate mind, emotion, and spirituality. New, interactive product based on proven Montessori methods.”

My friend Bunny volunteers with alzheimer’s patients at the local VA hospital. It is interesting that much of the work involves sensorial type activities, such as the patients rubbing lotion on their hands. Also, they do simple handwork activities. Everything is hands on and interactive. Bunny told me that these activities awaken the patients. They start to talk and socially interact after the sessions.
It’s amazing how much the mind and hand work together even as we age. Montessori talked about the spiritual connection between the mind and hand in young children. It’s interesting that this spiritual connection still exists in adults.

Montessori Research Project

Dr. Fleege and his associates conducted a study, Montessori Pre-School Education, with two groups of children, one from a Montessori preschool and the other from a non-Montessori preschool. The children were from the same community, with the same socio-economic and cultural environment, and the educational background was similar for the parents. The traditional preschool was a very good school and the Montessori school was average to slightly below agerage. Here are the results using questionnaries, tests, observations and statisical analysis:
1. “Analysis of variance..confirms statistically the superiority of gains in verbal ablity made by Montessori trained children over gains made by a matched group of other that Montessori trained children…”
2. “94 percent of Montessori trained children five to five-and-one-half years old were ready to enter first grade as compared
with only 50 percent of tis age group in the Control group [children from the non-Montessori class]. The comparable percentages for reading eadiness were 67 and 30 percent respectively, thus indication a higher maturity and greater readiness level poroduced in the Montessori trained children.”
3.”Children in the public and parochial primary grades who had attended Montessori pre-school were found to be superior, at a statistically significant level, to their peers who had attended pre-schools other than Montessori, in inter-personal relations, in learning ability and interest in learning. No significant differences were found, however, between the groups in creativity, both groups having made equal progress.”
4.”Parochial and public school primary teachrs reported no particular adjustmanet problems “peculiar to Montessori pre-school trined children.” The majority rated children who had attended a Montessori pre-school as more independent, less in need of the teacher and as evidencing more leadership than their non-Montessori trained peers.”
5.”Nearly twice as many Montessori parents as other-than-Montessori pre-school parents noted a defininte carry-over and implementaion on the part of the child in the home of many of the pre-school intended outcomes.”
(The Montessori Way, Gitter, p.27)

Montessori Method
by Dr. Urban H. Fleege

Montessori children not only do well academically, but are ceative and socially well adjusted.

Montessori Culture

I love these pictures from the Seller’s Blog of homemade Montessori land form cards and definition cards. I love the idea of using the shiny blue laminated paper for water and craft foam for the land. It makes the contrast of land and water so distinct and easy to understand. Rosie’s mom is a natural Montessori teacher. She’s awesome!
The playdough sculptures are wonderful too!
Check out her materials on ebay.