I have been fascinated to see how often modern educators, and people from all areas of student involvement invoke Maria Montessori today. Some without even knowing it.
One person who understands the deep connection is Dale Dougherty, the founder of MAKE magazine and creator of Maker Faire, among other things.
I just came across an article by him in which goes on to talk of her “education of the senses”
Montessori describes other exercises that encourage children to explore the sense of touch: setting out metal containers of water heated at six degree intervals; tablets made of three different woods that differ in weight by six grams; other tablets that have alternating strips of smooth paper and sandpaper.
Steve Jobs may be the one peron many parents credit every time they power up a tablet these days, to help their children ‘learn’ by tap-tapping on an app. No shortage of advice on what, say, Minecraft, could teach kids. They find “an environment that is not rule-based like the rest of their lives,” says one writer.
But back in the Montessori class, before you could expose your child to manipulating visual spaces, it might be good for your child to sharpen and engage the senses using a whole other set of tablets – you know, the ones that don’t need a Wi-Fi connection.
It’s one sure way to build that foundation for that calculus class he or she may take down the road. No batteries required.