Coursework on Maria Montessori and Philosophy on Child Deveopment

Discuss the meaning of imagination in the first two planes of development.

Imagination is a conscious mental process of evoking ideas or images of objects, events, relations, attributes, or processes never before experienced or perceived. This is particularly true when their content consists of sensory images. Imagination can be either passive or active, according to Anderson, R. Cognitive psychology and its Implications. 4th ed. Freeman, 1995.

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Psychologists occasionally distinguish between imagination that is passive or reproductive, by which mental images originally perceived by the senses are elicited, and imagination that is active or creative, by which the mind produces images of events or objects that are either insecurely related or unrelated to past and present reality. Cognitive Psychology being a study of imagination, therefore defines it as a creation of mental images. The best-known cognitive theory was by Jean Piaget. According to Piaget, J. The Essential Piaget. Ed.

Howard, E. and Jacque, V. Basic, 1997. Aronson, 1995. Based on his studies and observation, Piaget theorized that children proceed through four distinct stages of cognitive development: the sensorimotor stage (birth-age 3), the preoperational stage (age 3-6), the concrete-operational stage (age 6-11), and the formal-operational stage (age12). During the sensorimotor stage, which lasts from birth to about age 3, understanding is based on immediate sensory experience and actions. Thought is very practical but lacking in mental concepts and ideas.

In preoperational stage, which spans the preschool years (about ages 3 to 6); children’s understanding becomes more conceptual. Thinking involves mental concepts that are independent of immediate experience, and language enables children to think about unseen events, such as thoughts and feelings. The young child’s reasoning is intuitive and subjective. According to Piaget, children progress through these four stages by applying their current thinking processes to new experiences; gradually, they modify hese processes to better accommodate reality.

Cognitive theories provide insights into how a child’s mental processes underlie many aspects of his or her development. However, critics argue that Piaget underestimated the sophistication of the cognitive abilities of young children. Information-processing theorists have also been faulted for portraying children as little computers rather than inventive, creative thinkers. The dramatic pace of brain development in infants makes them crave novelty and become bored with familiarity.

They integrate knowledge from different senses, such as looking toward the source of an interesting sound. They can make sophisticated inferences about an object’s shape, size, and physical properties just by watching its action. These shows that young children do not passively wait to be taught about the world’s mysteries. These young minds are remarkably active and self-organizing. Early in the first year, infants appreciate object permanence, the concept that objects and people continue to exist even when they cannot be seen.

At birth, infants have a natural ability to hear the differences between speech sounds in any of the world’s languages, even sounds they have never previously heard. In the early childhood, the mind’s growth is remarkable and unmistakable. Their mushrooming language supports further cognitive growth, giving them access to knowledge of others enabling them to share and learn more. Adults are inevitably impressed with the fantastic imagination of pre-schoolers and with their deep interest in understanding the world especially people. In curriculums, featured songs, stories, games, gifts and occupations, stimulate the imaginations of children.

What is meant by ‘cosmic education’ in Montessori’s elementary school years?

According to Montessori Philosophy, elementary education is the earliest program of education for children, beginning generally at the age of five or six years and lasting from six to eight years. In most countries, elementary education is compulsory for all children. During this period, the children, undergo cosmic education.

Roopnarine Jaipul and James Johnson, in their book, Approaches to Early Childhood Education, state that cosmic education involves children for school both academically and socially. It teaches the children the alphabet so they will be ready to read and write, and it teaches them numbers so they can learn mathematics. The directors or teachers, read to children whose parents may not have the time or the ability to do so. Children and the directors often sing together, both to learn music and to encourage group participation by shy children. Children also learn coordination through indoor and outdoor play.

Later, they may study animals in the zoo, seasons of the year, and parts of the body. In addition to participation in academic exercises, children learn to wait their turn, to share toys, to sit quietly when they should and to play vigorously when they can. Field trips allow the children to also see farm animals, visit a railroad station, or go to a museum. The main purpose of this education is introduction. The children are introduced to different skills, information, and attitudes necessary for proper adjustment to their community and society.

The subjects taught are reading, writing, spelling, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music, physical education, and handicraft. These are often supplemented with other subjects such as foreign language On completion of the cosmic education in elementary schools, children are now able to continue their education in a junior high school, or a high school.

List the differences and similarities between 3-6 and 6-9 year old children, according to Montessori’s stages of development.

According to Keagan, R. ed. The Gale Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence. Gale, 1998. Keagan is quick to put across how similarities and differences occur in different stages of development. An overview of this book shows that people often think childhood as a sequence of age related stages (such as infancy, early childhood, and middle childhood), and many developmental theories portray childhood growth in this manner. Such a view recognizes that each period has its own distinct changes, challenges, and characteristics. The study of physical development focuses on the growth of the brain, body, and physical capabilities, along with the psychological implications of this growth.

Early in life, the brain and body grow remarkably in size and sophistication, leading to rapid increases in sensory ability and muscular strength and coordination. These changes provide a foundation for equally remarkable advances in cognition, emotion, and sociability. These factors combined, bring about the differences and the similarities between these stages. Both differences and similarities are faced between the early childhood (3-6 years) and the middle childhood (6-9 years) stages of development. These stages of development are physical, cognitive, social, and emotional developments.

Describe sensitive periods of the 6-9 year olds.

Winnicott, in his book, Winnicott, D. Thinking About Children. Addison Wesley, 1996. ,children acquire heightened capacities for judgment, reasoning, social understanding, reasoning, social understanding, emotion management, and self-awareness. At the same time, the social world of middle childhood broadens beyond the family to include the school, neighborhood, peer group, and other influences. Children begin to perceive themselves in multiple roles and relationships besides those of the family, even though family relations remain central.

In this stage, sensitive periods occur during the physical, social, and emotional development. Children begin to develop more complex self-image. Grade-schoolers view themselves as unique people with distinct strengths and weaknesses in their different roles of family member, student, teammate, and friend. They also begin to perceive themselves as skilled in different domains such as academic, social, athletic, and recreational- with capabilities and weaknesses in each. Peer relationships become richer and complicated in this stage.

These children begin to face issues of acceptance, fitting in, exclusion, and social comparison in their peer groups. The nature of friendships changes to incorporate psychological closeness as well as shared activities, and thus friendships become more intense and exclusive. These children create a smaller cycle of close friends and are more upset when friendships end. Friendships also coalesce into larger peer groups with their own norms. These norms distinguish who are included and excluded from the group, and create strong pressures on members to conform.

At the same time, such groups can help children build self-esteem and social skills. In this stage, these children begin to perceive themselves as responsible to others because of the importance of getting along. A rejected child’s lack of acceptance can unfortunately, fore shadow long-term social difficulties if these problems are not remedied in childhood. They also seek to act appropriately because people matter to them. Their developing psychological understanding heightens their sensitivity to human needs and contributes to empathy for others.

Damon William and Nancy Eisenberg in their book William, D. nd Eisenberg, N. , eds. Handbook of Child Psychology. 5th ed. Wiley, 2000. , point out that the physical stage of development may also be a sensitive period for the 6-9 year old children. Children vary in physical size, weight, and coordination. These differences can affect social and personal adjustment as children compare their characteristics and capabilities with those of their peers. For example, obesity in middle childhood can be damaging and self-perpetuating if it causes a child to be teased and rejected by friends and to develop a self-image as unattractive, inactive and isolated.

Sigmund Feud, an Austrian physician put emphasis on personality development and childhood experiences in his studies. He concluded that early experiences shape one’s personality for an entire lifetime, and psychological problems in adulthood may have their origins in difficult or traumatic childhood experiences. It is in this insight that people in these children’s lives-parents, relatives, friends, and others, who help to shape a person’s emotional life extend unconditional love and care to these children.


  1. Anderson, R. Cognitive psychology and its Implications. 4th ed. Freeman, 1995. Piaget, J. The Essential Piaget. Ed.
  2. Howard, E. and Jacque, V. Basic, 1997. Aronson, 1995. Roopnarine Jaipul and James Johnson, in their book, Approaches to Early Childhood Education, University Press, 2003.
  3. Winnicott, D. Thinking About Children-Montessori. Addison Wesley, 1996. … Read more: http://www. mightystudents. com/essay/Maria. Montessori. Philosophy.

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