Why Do We Need Mathematics Anyway?
The fifth and final Great Lesson devised by Montessori, also called the Story of the History of Mathematics, asks this question of the children, and begins to offer some explanation, explaining the origins of the first simple numbering systems, and linking what the children have just learned about geography and the stars to the need for navigation, and thus geometry for early civilisations. Understanding the Fundamental Needs of Humans introduces the concept of bartering and money which we use to meet our needs. History’s famous mathematicians are introduced, and the children develop an understanding that there is still much to learn in this field.
Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes -- I mean the universe -- but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.”
The Montessori materials are scientifically designed to each teach a specific concept, which a child understands through practice. Research shows that children who have completed an authentic Montessori Casa dei Bambini and Elementary Years Programme will have a strong foundation in Mathematics and Science performance in later learning, which will support their continued learning in life.
The Montessori mathematics programme from the earliest ages to Upper Elementary, is a consistent, step-by-step learning programme designed to be introduced to each child in the same logical sequence - as the child is ready for the next challenge.
Dual-Language Learning in the Classroom
The continuum of work in three-year age cycles within the dual-language, mixed-ability class encourages children to constantly improve and perfect all of their skills. This includes the very strong interest in using the written word in both English and Chinese to allow them to satisfy their curiosity about the world around them and the universe we live in, and then share this experience with the community. Children often write stories and reports in Chinese, and the classroom language is definitely a mix of both languages!