The Montessori philosophy of education was developed
by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman to graduate from the University
of Rome Medical School. She became interested in education while treating
mentally challenged children at the University's psychiatric clinic.
Gradually Dr. Montessori realized that these children were capable of
learning much more than it was generally believed. Her teaching brought
about remarkable results and set the foundation for the Montessori system.
Dr. Montessori began her work with children of normal intelligence
in 1907 when she was invited to organize schools in a reconstructed
slum area of San Lorenzo, Italy. Her work was so successful that when
she arrived in the United States at the end of 1913, she was heralded
as "a woman who revolutionized the educational system of the world." The
author of several volumes and numerous articles about education, Dr
Montessori died in 1952.
The Montessori Children's Room continues its dedication to helping
each child achieve it's potential by nurturing and stimulating that
unique union of mind and body through academics, music, drama, art,
movement, and practical life skills directed by dedicated staff in
a setting of rustic serenity.
The school uses the Montessori method combined with the latest research
in learning to create an environment where children experience the
joy of learning; the excitement of sudden intuitive leaps in understanding
and the pride of accomplishment. The carefully planned, stimulating
environment helps children develop within themselves an excellent foundation
for creative learning. The learning materials have been designed to
provide a wide variety of learning experiences geared to the developmental
needs of young children. The learning involved in handling, manipulating
and working with these materials is fascinating and absorbing for the
young child. When engaged in these well-structured tasks and in exploratory
activities, the child experiences a deep inner satisfaction, which
leaves him or her with an overall positive attitude.
What Is Montessori?
Montessori is a special way for children and adults to be together.
Every aspect of the experience is planned to help children become
confident, capable, creative, caring and happy people who are a delight
to be with.
The Montessori philosophy of education influences all aspects the child's
experience. From the design and selection of materials, to the selection
and education of the class directress. All activities are carefully
planned to make it easy for children to become that special person
each child can be.
Teachers are called directress to remind them to gently direct and
guide the children in their activities rather than dictate the child's
every move. This leads to mutual respect and affection helping the
children develop confidence in their own ability.
The variety of materials to explore, the teacher's quiet demonstration
of their possibilities, and the time available for the child to watch
older children, all work together to help the child develop the courage
to try new things. Children are encouraged to thoroughly explore an
activity. They quickly learn to examine a problem carefully, seeking
the possibilities.. .discovering the solution. We see the maturing
child's confidence in their own ability grow. At an early age the child
discovers the scientist's delight in solving problems, the mathematician's
delight in playing with patterns, the artist's delight in creation,
the sociologist's and psychologist's delight in understanding people
and the leaders delight in getting things done with people.
Montessori sets the stage to allow groups of children to have these
experiences without infringing on each other’s rights or needs.
The effects of this program, when reinforced in the home, can be seen
in high school students who organize their own work schedule or produce
quality work on time without prodding. It is also seen in older children
who intuitively understand the science, math, language and history
they played with in long forgotten Montessori classes. We see it in
grown up young men and women who are amazed to find that others didn't
start making little decisions at age two or three, and now haven't
had enough experience to make wise adult decisions.
Does it Matter?
Even potentially loving, capable children with caring, successful
parents are reported to be in danger from the "puppies in the field" type
of noisy group free play. Too much noisy togetherness and too little
individual attention and teaching can lead to a lack of confidence,
inability to form close relationships, poor work habits and academic
skills. The Montessori experience for children is subtly different
from the typical progressive early childhood program. In every class
children range in age 2 to 3 years to allow natural extended family
relations to develop. The class is quieter. There is less crying, less
aggression and taking of other children's toys. Children have more
choice of activities.
They more frequently progress at their own pace and use things they
are interested in, spending less time in compulsory group activities
or doing required projects. The older children are happy to help little
ones, who look up to the big kids and are fascinated with all the things
they do. This creates less stress and fatigue for the children.
By following the child's interests and showing new things, the child's
interest, attention and enjoyment are encouraged. When the child is
interested they will learn and remember more.
Children can select their own work because all pieces needed for the
activity are always together on a tray or in a basket. A child repeats
an activity whenever they want. The teacher is careful to introduce
new materials to the child in little steps that the child can easily
master. Materials are kept low where the child can find and reach them.
As a result the children take pride in learning "all by myself'.
The child becomes confident, dares to try new things because they are
not afraid of failure.