City schools are adopting a unique approach to education by setting up Montessori labs for the pre-primary class children. In these labs, a three-year-old is made to trace an alphabet and recognise its physical structure through colourful and scientifically designed learning toys instead of instructions through a book.
“Our school is based on Montessori education for the primary class students. Children are admitted at an age of three and a half. When they leave at the age of six or seven, they have the basics of learning, the ability to write, the ability to read and the ability to perform the arithmetic operations. They have the freedom to sit in the class in their own way as our only focus is to develop more of their motor skills and concentration. In each class, we have 20 students and one student is given the learning material at a time,” says Vandana Singh, headmistress at First Step School, Sector 26.
“Specialised products and learning materials, exported from metro cities, are used in such labs. From gardening tools to flash cards, educational toys including towers, beads, wooden blocks and customised blackboards, and from musical CDs to a small library, we have it all,” she adds.
Teachers say the Montessori labs are not subject-oriented; they also teach a child dish washing, caring of plants and animals, carrying liquids without spilling, sweeping floors, dusting and gardening.
Recently, RIMT World School, Manimajra, also set up a new Montessori lab for the pre-primary class students. The learning materials have been brought from Bangalore. For this purpose, teachers were especially trained in the Montessori methodology by a special trainer from Montessori school, Bangalore, during a two-day workshop. Poonam Katoch, principal of RIMT World School, says, “We are yet to start with new session but have already started getting a very positive response from parents.”
DC Montessori School, Panchkula, has the same lab for the junior wing where children are made to learn things themselves.