The Director gives presentations of the materials as a response to an acute need which arises from the child’s Sensitive Periods and her Will to act, so the child gives her full attention, her Absorbent Mind ensures that she is able to pick up many details and having acted on her tendencies for repetition and exactness a new part of the classroom will be opened up to the infant. During a demonstration the Director shows the exact manner in which an activity is to be completed, with special emphasis so that the details can be observed and practiced by the child. Through her indirect and direct presentations the adult lead the child to independence, both types of presentation must be done discretely, so as not to interfere with the other children in concentrated states of their own, but with enough quiet enthusiasm to entice the child’s interest in the activity.
The Link of Love that inspires the child to follow members of her local community and instills in her the goal of developing to be like them causes the child to always watch even minute actions of the Director. The Absorbent Mind is capable of taking all the details and recording them in the Mneme so that all of the Director’s movements and speech influence the child’s development. It is therefore essential that the Director is self-aware, graceful, moves mindfully (completes one action at a time) and speaks in a calm, respectful tone.
When the Director believes that a child’s need has arisen, or anticipates that the need will soon arise, she prepares for a presentation by ensuring the material is available and ready and then invites a child, explaining what she would like to demonstrate. The child’s free consent is sought as the Director believes that the child is the best judge of what she needs and the presentation is to help the child form herself, not to meet the goals or ego of the Director. With the child’s agreement a silent but explicit analysis of how to use the materials is given, important details are highlighted giving the child the opportunity to see how adults succeed in their movements and thereby affording her the opportunity to positively construct herself in the context of an environment brought alive to her by the Director’ contact.
Criteria for Presentation
- An understanding of the needs of the child(ren)
- The nature of the activity – group, individual or collective
- The nature of movement – large or refined, complex or simple
- The number of sets available (enough for a group or collective presentation)
The invitation is an integral part in the presentation, it is a brief, lively, pleasant and precise introduction to the activity. For a collective presentation a bell may be used to gain attention, for a group presentation the Director may ask one child to invite others.
During each presentation the Director accompanies the child to the place on the shelf where the material can be found, she names the material and if the child knows how to carry the material the child will bring it to the work area of her choice (this will have been negotiated for practical issues already). If the child does not know how to carry the object this will be introduced first as an Elementary Movement. The child should be asked to name objects which are being introduced and told their correct name if necessary. After the presentation and when the child has completed any repetition she is called to make, the Directorshows the child where to return the materials to, if necessary she will prompt her to wash the materials and/or her hands.
Share the ♥️!
Montessori Commons is free, and always will be.
Support us by liking our FB page!
Left and right dominance may still be firmly establishing in a child, so seat the child and show her depending on her preferences, left handed children may find mirroring helpful if it is difficult for the Director to present with left hand dominance. Careful observation will reveal most infants hand preferences by the age of three, but for certain activities she may have irregular hand dominance.