Each child is born with enormous potential, which, given sensitive support, will unfold, revealing the uniqueness of each human being.
So Why Study Montessori?
– because the education of the youngest members of our society matters.
The most important period of life is not the age of university studies but the period from birth to the age of six – Maria Montessori
Who was Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori was a truly remarkable, brave and inspirational woman, a trailblazer many years ahead of her time. She became one of the most important early years educators of the 20th century, an innovator of classroom practices and ideas that have had a profound influence on the education of young children across the world.
Montessori was the first woman in history to graduate from medical school at the University of Rome. She became interested in education whilst treating children with special needs and went on to establish schools for the disadvantaged children of working parents in Rome.
This is when her truly remarkable work began. She approached educating children as a scientist and used the classroom as her laboratory to observe children and find the very best way to help them reach their full potential.
It was here that she developed what we call the Montessori Approach to teaching. The method that Montessori developed was extremely effective, interactive and successful.
It was applicable to all children and is visibly more engaging than traditional methods. Not content with creating and developing the remarkable methodology, Montessori bravely set out to travel the world establishing schools, lecturing about her discoveries and writing articles.
Astonishingly there are now 22,000 Montessori schools worldwide and many non-Montessori schools use elements of her methodology. Maria Montessori died in Holland in 1952 aged 82.
She was a true pioneer of child centered education, a brave, enlightened and dynamic woman who was years ahead of her time.
Montessori saw that children learn best by doing, and that happy, self-motivated learners form positive images of themselves as confident, successful people. She created specially designed resources to foster independence and a love for learning from an early age.
The Montessori approach is holistic and aims to develop the whole child. Fundamental to the approach is the belief that
a child s early years from birth to six are the period when they have the greatest capacity to learn.
Potential of the Child
Order and structure
Children thrive when their environments are ordered and structured. The order of the favourable/prepared environment enables children to have an element of control over their lives. They begin to understand what is expected of them, how to behave and how to access the activities available to them.
Social skills leading to a respectful community of learners
Polite behaviour is modelled for children at every opportunity and grace and courtesy are encouraged. The favourable environment promotes concern and respect and guides children in their growing social interactions and nurtures respectful relationships leading to social cohesion.
Help me to do it by myself
This is the motto of all children – they are driven by their need to be autonomous and independent. Montessori education facilitates this need by enabling children to develop skills for life and giving them opportunities to become competent in looking after themselves. This requires time and patience.
Imagination and Creativity
The Montessori classroom nurtures children s imagination by providing many opportunities for exploration, representation and creativity in all areas of the environment. Montessorians believe that all such activities foster creative thinking and support the unique nature of all human beings.