The library / computer room in Montessori School Bali is a space reserved for research, academic work, and reading skills development. With four computers and over 2,400 books, it provides students with the resources that support their work and is an ideal environment to develop concentration.
Concentration is one of the most difficult things for students to maintain. It requires the combination of a complex set of elements. The Montessori Method has an amazing way to help students concentrate. It uses concrete (physical) materials that enable students to easily engage in their work and develop deep concentration.
Evidence of concentration is seen whenever students exhibit deep interest in their activities and continue to invest energy in their work, even when frustrated by it. This is also one of the key indicators that students are close to reaching a major goal of Montessori education, one that Maria Montessori called normalization, where there is a balance between a love of work, concentration, self discipline and sociability.
As students get older, they develop the ability to think abstractly. This transition in their thinking process is very difficult and requires considerable effort, concentration and energy, which is made easier by a Montessori prepared environment. Recently, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Daniel Kahneman explored concepts which highlight the importance of concentration in their books, Flow and Thinking, Fast and Slow respectively.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi considers deep concentration a key element that leads to a person’s optimal performance state’ what he calls “ Flow”, where people are said to be “in the zone”. According to him, every human has a tendency to reach this state of “ flow” when a challenge and an individual’s ability are appropriately balanced.
In his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman explains that humans have two systems of thinking. System 1 operates automatically, quickly, effortlessly and emotionally while system 2 uses heightened concentration to perform more laborious, complex mental processes such as logic and precise evaluations.
It can be seen that from learning, through optimal performance using advanced mental processes, concentration is a valued trait to develop and Montessori Bali provides both the environments and methodology to nurture its development.
Csikszentmihalyi., (M. 1990) Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. United States: Harper & Row
Kahneman, D. (2011) Thinking, Fast and slow. United States: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
(1973)Attention and Effort . United States: Prentice-Hall
Montessori, M, (1966) The Secret of Childhood. New York: Ballantine Books
(1972 The Discovery of the Children. India : Kalakshetra Publication