“Curiosity is at the heart of human nature. Little children have a pressing desire to understand the world around them. They explore their crib, the room, the house, the garden, and they play with anything they could get their hands on. Maria Montessori, the founder of Montessori method, with a background in medicine, psychology, as well as anthropology understood the importance of this trait in human development. Curiosity and the freedom to explore became one of the basis of how Montessori designed the curriculum. In Montessori classroom, the environment is prepared in such a way to allow children to act on their curiosity. Their exploration, their urge to work on something, their need to “figure out” are encouraged and facilitated.
A harmonious atmosphere in Montessori classrooms is unmistakable, as the children engage themselves in activities of their choice that are meaningful to them. Working in deep concentration, the children are given the time they need to channel their inner need to work with their little hands. The children are not provided “answers” by the teacher, instead the materials are prepared in such a way for the children to discover things by themselves and in turn find true joy in learning.
By assisting this stage of development, Montessori method of education nurtures children’s sense of wonder and paves the way to build positive dispositions in learning. For this to happen, we need to let children be children. They are already born explorers, what we need is to meet them where they are. Providing them with an environment catering to their needs will be key in raising children who are confident to try new things, who feel secure to explore the world around them, who have critical minds and are courageous to test their ideas. For little children, learning does not happen on worksheets, but through playing, exploring, observing, experimenting, and investigating.