Montessori and Art
Maria Montessori was the first woman doctor in Italy in the early 1900s.
She set up clinics in the poorer areas of the Italian cities to work with the street children. During her work, she observed the children carefully and saw that due to the poor conditions in which they lived, they had become destructive and cared little for their environment, each other and themselves.
She saw that given a well cared for room and beautiful, well-ordered surroundings, they began to take an interest and take care of their environment and themselves; becoming more thoughtful and careful.
Dr Montessori also observed that given the right encouragement and equipment, the children began to learn by teaching themselves and absorbing information from the world around them. From this early start, she went on to develop an entire method of education and range of equipment for it, which is now known throughout the world and many aspects of which have been incorporated into our own state system.
Montessori believed that as a child grows, self-exploration and discovery are two of the most important topics to develop self-awareness. This has become a reason why contemporary Montessori teachers allow students to use traditional materials in innovative ways
Montessori’s methods indirectly develop creativity. Her personal belief was that creativity was a reflection of the natural world. Whereas creativity is usually associated with art making, Montessori’s methods prove that this is not always the case. Problem solving plays a vital role in developing creative solutions, something that the Montessori method cultivates. Arts integration plays a key role in learning in the Montessori method. Montessori did not like students drawing abstractly or from their imagination, and she highly valued artistic mimicry of nature.