Minding their own business

2015-11-24 06:00
Women working in the Mowbray classroons.

Women working in the Mowbray classroons.

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Minding your own business is the order of the day in this class.

Children aged between the age of three to six years old are busy with different activities that may seem small, but actually are very educational.

One girl is threading bands; another is placing spindles in a box, counting from one to 10 as she places, removes and replaces them over and over again. Others are building puzzles, eating, or drawing – whatever takes their fancy.

Each of these little souls is being taught the Montessori way.

Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) and characterised by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development

There are over 100 Montessori Early Childhood Development (ECD) pre-schools in and around Cape Town.

The aim of the Montessori approach is to aid the child’s development into an adult and to be comfortable with him or herself, with society and with humanity as a whole.

It is based on the belief in the child to continue to guide his or her own development, and to guide educators in supporting this task.

There are no preconceived ideas as to how best to aid the child in his journey to adulthood. Instead, key Montessori ideas emerged from the observation of children in diverse cultures and in many countries.

For the past twenty years ELF Montessori Teacher Training in Mowbray, established in 1995, has become well-known in Cape Town for its quality training of women and support of ECD practitioners who can provide quality preschool education in their communities.

Through its training programme and workshops ELF has enabled women from all sectors in society to improve their skills and capacity to provide quality care and education. The programme has been accredited by the Educational,Training and Development Practices Sector Education Training Authority (ETDP SETA) and recognised for its quality both locally and abroad with graduates working in London, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

Shereen’s Montessori in Salt River is a school that pays testament to the success of the Montessori way. The pre-primary has been operating since 1976 and it caters for over 90 children daily.

Aisha Mohamed, director and educator of the school, says through applying the Montessori knowledge, skills and activities using Montessori didactic materials, “children recognise letter sounds, count using concrete math equipment and more importantly, ‘work’ for their own development and enjoyment”.

Their wish is touch and change many lives through their way of education, but there is a shortage of Montessori teachers in South Africa.

If anyone would like a career in teaching children or to empower their child with extraordinary early childhood development skills, contact the Montessori teaching training centre via email elfsecretary@gmail.com or call 021 685 8119.

To find out more about Montessori teacher training and their projects, please visit www.elf.montessori.co.za.

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