What is Montessori?
Montessori gives children freedom of choice and movement in a prepared environment, to pursue their own interests and enjoy their own achievements where dignity, respect and independence are of paramount importance. Montessori discovered structure was important to help children feel safe and secure.
Montessori is based on a child’s innate desire to learn. Their enormous capacity to do so is stimulated when provided with a favourable environment and appropriate materials, under the guidance of a professionally trained Montessori teacher. Fundamental to the Montessori 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 and the greatest appetite for knowledge. What happens during these critical years lays the foundations for their future.
The role of the Montessori teacher is to guide rather than control. They are not there to impart knowledge but to provide opportunities to learn in an environment where this can easily be achieved. Children progress at their own speed. Montessori educated children are generally seen to be well rounded, eloquent, with plenty of initiative and self-esteem. They have an ‘I can do’ attitude and a belief in their own abilities.
The key to the Montessori Philosophy is the specially designed equipment. There are specific learning tools for each core area of learning, created to help children develop essential physical, cognitive, linguistic and social skills.
How it Started
Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952) started the Montessori method. She was a pioneer of child-centred education whose interest in education started while working with special needs children. She realised that her methods and ideas applied to all children and moved on to establish several schools where she used the classroom as a laboratory for observing children and finding ways to help them achieve their full potential.
Her scientific approach underpins much of the Montessori philosophy and the design of the Montessori didactic materials demonstrates a remarkable insight into children’s learning dispositions.
Montessori has become an amazing worldwide movement and provided generations of children with a very special start in life. At The Montessori School House we are part of this great movement, inspiring a new generation of children and giving them that greatest of all gifts, the joy of learning!