Hands-on Task Learning

“The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.”  – Dr Maria Montessori

One of the things that distinguishes Montessori from more classical educational approaches is the way children are encouraged to learn by touching, feeling and doing. In traditional learning environments, children sit at desks and listen to a teacher. In contrast, Montessori children are encouraged to move around the classroom and engage with the wide variety of activities available. They choose the activity they would like to work on, bring it to a table or mat, explore the materials and make discoveries for themselves.

Perhaps someone has shown you how to program a DVD player. It is generally easier to remember the steps if you have the opportunity to try it yourself.

Similarly when children work with their hands, they gain a very concrete understanding of the materials. When we can show children and let them touch and explore, they will make many more neural connections. And later, more abstract learning will naturally evolve from the concrete experiences they have had.