Montessori is an educational philosophy based on the belief that a child learns best within a social environment that supports and nurtures each individual’s unique development pattern. Montessori education was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori.
Born in 1870, Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman graduate in Italy to become certified as a medical doctor, developed an educational method that still challenges the way we think about teaching our children. She based her educational methods on scientific observations made while working with a number of children from different cultural, social, and economic backgrounds. This in turn led to specific epiphanies regarding children’s learning processes. One of her observations was that young children learn best in a homelike setting surrounded by developmentally appropriate materials that provide life experiences. Through observations, Dr. Montessori indicated that:
Children must be respected as individuals who are different from adults. Children create themselves through purposeful activity. The most important years for learning are from birth to age six. Children possess unusual sensitivity and mental powers for absorbing and learning from their environment, which includes people as well as materials.
Montessori Education promotes a child’s total development. Montessori helps all children achieve their potential without pressure or competition. A child is free to challenge themselves at their own pace without feeling ahead or left behind. Montessori education recognizes the individual potential in every child and guides each child to discover that potential.
Every Central Montessori School classroom operates on the principle of freedom within limits and is based on core Montessori beliefs — respect for each other and the environment.
The child is free to work at his/her own pace with the materials they have chosen. The Directress relies on her scientific observation to determine which new activities to introduce to the child. The aim is to encourage active, positive, and self-directed learning. The younger children are inspired and motivated asking for explanations, while older children share what they have learned while simultaneously reinforcing their own learning and leadership skills. This encourages an atmosphere of inspiration and cooperation.
“Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy.”