In the Montessori pedagogy practical life activities have a key place in the classroom. They enable the hands to become skilful and dextrous and so enable the child to develop their independence. This week, after reading the lecture, I watched the children more intently at work on the practical life actives; how they used their hands in pouring, transferring, manipulating tools on the tool block, threading, peeling garlic and using the garlic press and, in baking how they chopped up mushrooms for the pizzas they were making. Working on these activities it is lovely, and affirming, to see that the children are clearly focused, engaged and intent on completing their task, and what is more they take pride in their success.
As Montessori stated, ’the greater the effort, the greater is the children’s pleasure.’
Montessori gave these lectures 75 years ago at the tail end of her work in education. It is a testament to her knowledge, that in spite of the many changes that society has undergone, her insights in child development still hold relevance today. So let’s work those hands!