What is sensorial education?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

Sensorial education is an approach to teaching that focuses on stimulating and engaging a child’s five senses: taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing. It is based on the belief that children learn best when they are actively using their senses to explore and understand the world around them. This approach was developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian educator, who believed that sensorial education is a vital foundation for a child’s overall development.

In sensorial education, the classroom environment is carefully designed to provide a wide range of materials and activities that encourage sensory exploration. The materials used are specifically designed to isolate and emphasize one particular sensory attribute, such as color, texture, shape, size, weight, or sound. For example, there may be sets of objects in different colors, textures, or shapes for children to touch and explore.

Through sensorial activities, children are able to refine their senses and develop their ability to discriminate and classify sensory information. For example, they may learn to identify and match different scents, or to sort objects based on their size or weight. These activities not only help children develop their sensory perceptions, but also lay the groundwork for later academic learning.

The goal of sensorial education is to help children develop a strong foundation for learning by building their sensory awareness, concentration, and attention to detail. By engaging their senses, children are able to make meaningful connections between what they see, hear, touch, taste, and smell, and the concepts they are learning. This helps them develop a deeper understanding of the world around them and promotes a love for learning.

I have personally witnessed the benefits of sensorial education in my own teaching experience. I have seen how children become more engaged and enthusiastic about learning when they are provided with hands-on, sensory-rich activities. For example, when introducing the concept of colors, I would provide children with various objects of different colors and encourage them to sort and match them. I have observed how this activity not only helps children develop their color recognition skills but also enhances their fine motor skills and concentration.

Furthermore, sensorial education also promotes independence and self-discovery. Children are encouraged to explore and discover on their own, using their senses to guide their learning. They are given the freedom to choose their own materials and work at their own pace, allowing them to develop confidence in their abilities and a sense of ownership over their learning.

Sensorial education is an approach to teaching that focuses on engaging a child’s senses to promote learning and development. It provides children with opportunities to explore and understand the world around them through hands-on, sensory-rich activities. By refining their senses and developing their ability to discriminate and classify sensory information, children are able to build a strong foundation for learning and develop a love for learning.