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Cultural studies
Montessori saw that young children were interested in
exploring the environment in increasingly complex ways. She
also saw, however, that they needed to move from the
‘whole’ to the parts in order to understand exactly how
things worked.
She developed certain areas within the prepared
environment that allowed the children to gain an
appreciation of biology, geography, simple science and
history.
Each of these areas allowed the children to explore and
experiment with new concepts such as metamorphosis, life
cycles, land formations, the planets and time lines.
As in all other areas of her work she was careful to let the
children lead her in their interests and she therefore
discovered that, during the period of sensitivity to
language, they easily learnt the technical names of the new
things that they were introduced to. She developed systems
of classified cards that enabled the children to increasingly
identify and categorise the things that they were studying.
Every Montessori school had a ‘Nature Table’ which displayed
plants, animals and experiments that helped children to
understand the natural environment and to introduce them
to the concept of…