Montessori Philosophy

 

 

“When dealing with children there is greater need for observing than of probing”
Dr. Maria Montessori

The Montessori Method of education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician. She opened her first “school” (Casa dei Bambini) in 1907. Today, Montessori schools flourish all over the world. Fundamental to all of Dr. Montessori’s ideas is a deep respect for a child’s ability to learn. She recognized that children go through certain phases during which they learn more easily than at any other time in their lives. This innate potential to learn is dependent upon a loving environment that encourages the active pursuit of knowledge.

Dr. Montessori’s developmentally appropriate approach to learning is designed to fit each child instead of making each child fit into a preset program. She believed that learning should take place in multi-aged classrooms where children who are at various stages of development can learn from and with each other. This learning should take place in a noncompetitive atmosphere in order for each child to develop at his/her own speed.

Dr. Montessori observed that the best way for young children to learn is by active, hands-on experiences. She developed the idea of the prepared environment, where the classroom contains a wide variety of cognitive materials that foster learning in numerous areas. The purpose of the materials is not just to impart knowledge to children, but rather to provide them with stimuli that capture their attention and initiate a process of concentration.

 

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