As a physician, Maria Montessori took a keen interest in children’s physical development as well as their intellectual and character development. She reminds us that to view certain educational components as the education of the mind and others as the education of the body is a false dichotomy. She refers to the brain, senses and muscles as the system of relationships, explaining that muscles make up the majority of a person’s body and that movement is necessary for a person to act on the world and give expression to thoughts. Muscles are required for communicating in verbal or written form and through dance or music.
Movement is, therefore, woven throughout a Montessori education. Children develop eye-hand coordination and small muscle control as they manipulate Montessori materials throughout their day. They utilize their larger muscles as they engage in ‘work’ connected to practical life and caring for the classroom (scrubbing tables, kneading bread, hoisting the flag each morning and taking it down in the afternoon, sweeping etc.)
Physical Education at Endeavor Montessori
Endeavor Montessori provides children with ample time outdoors in dynamic outdoor learning and play spaces that encourage children to engage in challenging and rewarding gross motor movement. Children at Endeavor Montessori are not confined to desks, nor are they asked to be still for extended periods of time. Children need to move to process and retain information. That’s why our classrooms and outdoor learning environments are designed to encourage and support movement.
In addition to the ongoing movement that supports and emerges from children’s daily learning in Endeavor Montessori, physical education also plays a role in children’s physical development. Our physical education supports the fine and gross motor development, coordination, spatial awareness and balance that are encouraged throughout the day in our classrooms.
During physical education activities such as yoga, tumbling, team sports, and obstacle courses, children have the opportunity to engage in developmentally appropriate games and movement activities that help them become increasingly aware of what their bodies are capable of, build resiliency and stamina and develop the strong roots of an active life. Each week, physical education also offers children practice in collaboration as they team with and encourage their peers in sporting and movement activities.