Montessori Society AMI (UK)

Is the iPad helpful to teach children how to do mathematics and how to read?

5 Dec 2016 6:46 PM | Anonymous

Question:

I was interested to read that Apple have brought out an iPad App using Montessori techniques to teach children numbers and letters and that this is aimed specifically at toddlers. Do you think this is appropriate for use by children of this age?

Answer:

Actually, Montessori actively seeks to disassociate itself from these kinds of product. Firstly, as you will have read here previously, we do not condone the use of screen based learning for children of this age, who need hands-on experiences.   At this age children are trying to develop a connection between their hands and their minds. When children tap a screen to move things around it gives them an unrealistic view of this connection, and the pathways that connect up in their brain as a result of this kind of activity are not helpful for their real lives. Secondly, these applications suggest that Montessori is about mathematics and learning to read and that somehow a toddler can get the full benefit of Montessori through a screen.

The impression being given to those who know no better is that Montessori is an academic learning programme for young children rather than an approach to life that can help children to develop into confident, self-reliant, independent and highly socially adapted human beings. As we know, this does not come through the screen of an iPad – however alluring it may be.




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