The Montessori Method of education is a unique approach to learning.
Since Montessori schools are based upon the principle that “… the child – not the teacher, is the constructor of man and by extension – of society …” it is felt that the, “human teacher can only help the great work that is being done …”. “Education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences from the environment”. Therefore, the teacher’s job is to provide the materials and environment which will aid development, and to be ready to respond when help is needed.
Dr. Maria Montessori, over 80 years ago, was Italy’s first woman medical doctor. Using her scientific background, she began observing children in Rome.
Based on her unbiased observation, she developed unique materials, a child centered environment, and was one of the first people to revolutionize education thought by stressing respect for the child, freedom of expression, self education, and training through use of movement and the senses.
The Absorbent Mind
The Montessori Method
The Child in the Family
The Secret of Childhood
The Discovery of the Child
Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work
Montessori: A Modern Approach
Paula Polk Lillard
Paula Polk Lillard
The Essential Montessori: An Introduction
Elizabeth G. Hainstock
Why should I send my child to Montessori?
Most educators and psychologists today agree that the single most important period in the development of a person’s intelligence occurs between birth to age six. A child’s mind is extremely absorbent and his curiosity is at a peak during these early years. When properly nourished and stimulated, the child’s mind forms patterns for learning that serve him well through his life.
The Montessori system of preschool education has proven to be one of the most effective and fastest growing methods to guide a child through these critical years. Beyond those years, Montessori continues to stimulate the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of the child in unique and effective ways.
The Montessori Classroom
The Montessori classroom is a child-sized world. Whatever is in the world outside can be incorporated meaningfully into the Montessori classroom. To a child, the world is unmanageable; it is too big, too complex, and too confusing. By careful selection of materials by the teacher, an environment is set up that allows the child a place to explore life on a level he can understand.
This prepared environment entices the child to process at his own pace from simple activities to more complex ones. Through this process, the child’s natural curiosity is satisfied and he begins to experience the joy of discovering the world around him. Materials and curriculum center on Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, Geography, Science, Art, and Music.
The most important consideration in deciding to set up a Montessori class is the teacher. A non-Montessori-trained teacher can no more be expected to teach “Montessori” than a biologist could be expected to teach French. Using the Montessori approach to teach is extremely challenging, but equally exciting and rewarding.
The Human Tendencies
The practical application of the Montessori method is based on human tendencies— to explore, move, share with a group, to be independent and make decisions, create order, develop self-control, abstract ideas from experience, use the creative imagination, work hard, repeat, concentrate, and perfect one’s efforts.