Homework and Exams
Although there are companies that make “toys” for Infants and Toddlers, in order to abide by Montessori’s vision of a classroom, most of the materials and activities provided for Infants and Toddlers are made by the teachers. Providing them with knowledge on how to prepare and write up original lessons helps them not only to prepare their environment, but to educate their assistants and share their ideas. The proper write out of an original lesson provides anyone the ability to not only produce and execute the lesson, but also understand the rationale and direct/indirect goals. The understanding of indirect goals in an Infant and Toddler classroom is one of the most important aspects of the Role of the Adult. This age group develops at such as extreme, yet personal pace that the teacher is required to provide and frequently change original lessons to best accommodate the child’s developmental needs.
Lesson presentations occur in each of the Pedagogy courses: Infant and Toddler, as well as, during the EC Overview. With Infant, it’s more to be sure the Adult Learner are aware of safety and sanitation procedures of the materials. Showing an infant a new “toy” in a gentle appropriate manner as oppose to shaking smoothing in front of the infants face, as many adults do.
Toddlers are in the midst of observing and modeling. The Role fo the Adult is to Model so many things. From how to move one’s body thought the environment to how to use materials to care for the self and for the environment. Lesson presentation is more of how the Adult Learner moves through the classroom. How she picks up a chair, rolls a mat, cuts fruit, wash dishes, etc. Toddlers will do it exactly how you do it, so if we move with grace, so will the toddler.
During the EC Overview the Adult Learners will learn some of the more Montessori materials. This will allow them to see what their students will be doing and learn why. It is important for all Montessorians to be introduced to the famous Pink Tower and other materials, and learn about the detail in the design. The ability to handle them respectfully and correctly, so that the materials true gift is understood, must be learned. Just because an Infant does not have the pink tower in her classroom, she need to know they are more than just “blocks”. Giving the opportunity to actually handle them, she will learn by using her hands, and experience them as the children are meant.
The big debate of whether to allow these materials in an older toddler classroom is also discussed. With knowledge and understanding of the materials, the Adult Learner will be able to develop her own rationale for her classroom.
“Education should not limit itself to seeking new methods for a mostly arid transmission of knowledge: its aim must be to give the necessary aid to human development.... If ‘the formation of man’ becomes the basis of education, then the coordination of all schools from infancy to maturity, from nursery to university, arises as a first necessity: for man is a unity, an individuality that passes through interdependent phases of development. Each preceding phase prepares the one that follows, forms its base, nurtures the energies that urge towards the succeeding period of life.” (From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 84)
We conduct our Oral Exams as a community. Each Adult Learner draws a question. After a few mixture of review and preparation, the Adult Learner will present the question to the class. Afterwards, the peers of the Adult Learner may “hint” at any other part of the question the presenter may have missed. The question is then discussed by all, lead my the Evaluators.
We are here to encourage and produce teachers that are not only knowledgable, but comfortable with the knowledge. The training is vigorous and we do our best to build and encouraging community among the Adult Learners. It is our hope that they will continue to keep in touch for help and comfort. This is why we allow them to assist and discuss. The technique to be able to critique and compliment will also help them build a good relationship with their future co-teachers.