WHY AMI MONTESSORI?
Montessori schools promote hands on, self paced, collaborative, joyful learning.By providing an environment that supports natural development, Montessori education enables children to develop the fundamental capacities that they need to become happy and fulfilled adults who contribute to society.
ITALIAN PHYSICIAN, EDUCATOR, AND INNOVATOR
Maria Montessori lived from 1870 to 1952. She was the first female Doctor of Medicine in Italy. Through her initial work with handicapped and socially deprived children, she began to develop her unique educational philosophy. As a result of her further study, observation, and experimentation, she found the principles of her method to be applicable to all children. She has had an impact on the field of education in general and the way we understand and teach children today.
The Montessori movement is not a narrow method of teaching but a broad philosophy of life that rests in faith in each child as a potential new beginning for humanity and the creator of the adult he will become. Every child possesses an inner force that drives him to grow and learn and that can be observed in his spontaneous activities. We respect his natural inquisitiveness, which makes learning an imperative, as much a basic need to the child as food, shelter, and love.
We appreciate his relentless exploration through his senses and movements, which make his environment his natural school. It is our purpose to observe the child’s natural interest and activities and provide an environment in which he can develop and learn.
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that self-motivation is the only valid impulse for learning. Within the carefully structured order of the Montessori classroom, the child is free to choose his own projects throughout the day. Following his own inner direction, he discovers his own pattern of learning and finds satisfaction in work. It is the child who takes the active part in the Montessori classroom, not the guide.
The child plays the active role in his self-development rather than being trained by an adult. The children are encouraged to work out their own social problems and reach their own moral conclusions. Responsibility toward the group and the other children individually is emphasized. Adult authority acts as a background for free development. When the child is encouraged to develop understanding, compassion, and respect, he is able to cultivate his own self-discipline.
Montessori education begins with the understanding that the role of the adult is to support and assist in the child’s own efforts and activities in the unfolding inborn developmental powers. The child, from the earliest moments of life, possesses great constructive energies that guide the formation of his mind and the coordination of his body through spontaneous activities and interactions with the environment.
The Montessori approach was developed through the key Montessori ideas that emerged from Dr. Montessori’s direct and extensive observation of children in diverse cultures and in many countries:
That there are four key developmental planes in the journey to adulthood: 0-6 years old, 6-12 years, 12-18 years and 18-24 years. Each of these planes has its own goals: in the first, the development of the self as an individual being; in the second, the development of the social being; in the third, the birth of the adult and finding one’s sense of self; in the fourth, consolidating the mature personality and becoming a specialized explorer. The complete development of the adult human being requires that the specific needs of each of these periods be satisfied.
ADAPTED AND QUOTED FROM: THE MONTESSORI METHOD: A REVOLUTION IN EDUCATION. – E. M. STANDING, THE ACADEMY LIBRARY GUILD 1962.
It is based on observations of the nature of the child.
Its application is universal; the results can be successfully achieved in any country and with any racial, cultural or economic group.
It reveals the small child as a lover of work, both of the intellect and of mastery of the body (especially the hand). This work is spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.
Through his work, the child shows spontaneous discipline. This discipline originates within him and is not imposed from without. This discipline is real, as contrasted with the artificial discipline of rewards and punishments prevalent under other methods.
It provides suitable occupations based on the vital urges of the child at each stage of development. Each stage is successfully mastered before the next is attained.
It offers the child a maximum spontaneity in choice of physical and mental activity. Nevertheless the child reaches the same or higher levels of scholastic attainment as under traditional systems.
Each child works at his own pace. The quick are not held back nor are the slow pressured. There is much opportunity for group work, and the children spontaneously offer help with work they have mastered to those children who have not.
It enables the trained adult to guide each child individually in each subject according to his own individual requirements.
It allows the child to grow in biological independence by respecting his needs and removing undue influence of the adult. It allows the child a large measure of liberty based on respect for the rights of others. This liberty is not permissive license, but forms the basis of real discipline.
It does away with competition as a major motivation for learning. The child competes with himself. It presents endless opportunities for mutual work and help–these joyfully given and received.
The child works from his own free choice. This choice is preceded by knowledge and is thus a real choice.
The Montessori method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely his intellectual faculties but also his powers and deliberation, initiative and independent choice, with their emotional complements. By living as a free member of a real social community, the child is trained in those fundamental social qualities which form the basis of good citizenship.