Our aim therefore is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core” (Montessori, 1989). The Montessori method encourages creativity and imagination. It is believed that creativity is natural and inborn in every child and that life itself is a constant act of creation. This is the reason why the Montessori environment aims to foster curiosity, independence and experimentation.
The prepared environment in the Montessori classrooms offers essential elements for the child’s optimal development which includes challenging his imagination to come up with amazing ways of resolving problems. The aim of this environment is to render the growing child independent of the adult. The six aspects or principles in the prepared environment are freedom, structure and order, beauty, nature and reality, social environment and intellectual environment. Since Dr. Montessori believes that the child processes everything through his senses, the prepared environment is designed to provide a calm, neutral, quiet background that encourages and supports independent learning and exploration.
The Montessori cultural activities in the prepared environment include geography, history, general science, botany and zoology, music and art. In teaching geography, Montessori schools use the sandpaper globe and the painted globe. In the sandpaper globe, the land areas are covered with sandpaper and the water surfaces painted blue. This globe aims to give children a sensorial and tactile impression of the world. By introducing the terms “globe, “land” and “water”, the child will have a better understanding of the geographical world. A painted globe on the other hand, is a small globe identical in size as the sandpaper globe but the continents are painted in different colors and the oceans are all painted blue. The coloured globe aims to help the ...Show more