About Maria Montessori
Education is to inspire life,
to enrich life, to help the
children with their own
strength to survive and to
help them develop the spirit.
– Maria Montessori
is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator, Maria Montessori.
In 1907 Maria Montessori opened her first classroom,
the Casa dei Bambini or Children’s house, in Rome.
From the beginning, Montessori based her work on her observations of children
and experimentation with the environment, materials, and lessons.
The Montessori Philosophy
is characterised by an emphasis on
independence, freedom within limits and respect for a child’s natural psychological development.
The Association Montessori International cite the following elements as essential:
Mixed age classrooms
Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
Uninterrupted blocks of work time
A constructivism or “discovery” model, where students learn concepts from working with materials rather than by direct instruction
Specialised educational materials
A few things to expect
in a Montessori school
Montessori Focus Areas
Life education based on respect and love for self, others and the environment
Developing the human potential; Making the connection between life and the universe
Embracing home, school and the greater community as part of the educational approach
Offering a learning environment of minimal interruptions and interferences
Nurturing relationships that satisfy the true needs of the child
Montessori is an approach to the education of children.
It is a way of looking at, and understanding children.
It is a view of how children develop and learn which has been translated into a systematic method of education based upon careful scientific study.
The Montessori educational system is unique in that it has successfully undergone continued development for over one hundred years and has been used effectively with mentally challenged, physically handicapped, normal, and gifted children in different countries around the world.
Perhaps the most significant reason for its success is that it is a comprehensive method of education resulting from an integration of research on development, learning, curriculum, and teaching. In the Montessori view of education, the purpose of education is to serve as an aid to life.
Therefore, Montessori is an approach to education based upon the principle that schooling should work with the nature of the child instead of against it. Therefore, education should be based upon scientific study of the child and a resulting understanding of the processes of development and learning. Dr. Montessori felt that her greatest discovery was that children’s play actually consisted of the important work of development. In fact, children have a natural drive to work in order to develop.
The child’s great task is to become an adult. As a result, children are not contented unless they have an opportunity to develop and learn.
Since Montessori schools are based upon the principle that “…the child, not the teacher, is the construction of man, and so 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 upon 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.