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Levels of Abstraction in Mathematics Learning Through Montessori Materials
Publication: MoRE Montessori Research Europe newsletter
Abstract/Notes: "MORE Abstracts 2003? It is time for innovation and thus for contrasting developmental and conservative boosts to come to the attention of the various places in which school action is performed everyday. Montessori materials seem to want to contribute to the representation of the complex concepts of arithmetic and geometry and certainly have allowed the identification and definition of learning models and teaching patterns that have led to defining the Montessori proposal as a method. They have played a key role in the construction of teaching processes that can determine an effective and motivating repertoire of task environments, consistent with the needs and mathematical knowledge of the times in which they were introduced and that they contributed to generate. Certain processes, such as those of abstraction, codification, decoding, transcodification and transfer characterising mathematics learning, in particular, in the various phases of developmental age, may be found in those processes, but also revisited in the light of intentional interconnections within the current developmental state of mathematical, psychological and scientific pedagogical knowledge. The conceptual, theoretical and applicative characterisations in the field of mathematics teaching dictated by the needs to explore the invariant and variable aspects of reality and to seek order to place as a basis of a method, may start up a construction and reconstruction process of the codes of logical and mathematical language on the part of learners, within the specific semantic fields that the task environment may propose. In this sense the materials could be reconsidered as a junction between interdisciplinary maps with specific perspectives inside the “method” but able to enrich themselves thanks to the contribution of the learning experience that “multimedia” children gain in other real and virtual places that go to develop the sense of self-effectiveness in the area of mathematics – a territory which cannot be considered, even today, as very appealing – and within reach of the child’s mind.