Montessori Education is based on the work of Italian physician, Dr. Maria Montessori, whose research in the first half of the twentieth century gave birth to an innovative educational system that has grown worldwide. Dr. Montessori developed a philosophy based on the natural development of children and their intrinsic desire to explore, discover and learn from the world around them.
The Parent Perspective
In this video by the American Montessori Society, parents tell you, in their own words, what makes Montessori education special. Go "beyond 2+2" and see the difference that Montessori can make in your child's life.
The Montessori Approach
The fundamental tenet is that a child flourishes in a warm, nurturing environment which supports each individual's unique development. Montessori Education promotes the development of social, emotional, and physical skills, as well as cognitive understanding and growth.
Dr. Montessori's ideas were forerunners of contemporary ideas we know as "individualized learning" and the "open-classroom structure." Among Montessori's original contributions are:
The idea of "sensitive periods" of development during which a child is highly receptive to certain concepts.
The development of child-sized furniture and equipment.
An emphasis on concrete materials for the teaching of otherwise abstract concepts.
The basic design for an educational environment which fosters the development of autonomy in the individual and recognizes the interdependence of freedom and discipline.
Montessori schools have long been established in many other countries. Currently there are more than 10,000 private Montessori schools in the United States and over 500 public Montessori school programs.
The Montessori Classroom
A typical Montessori classroom includes children of multiple age levels, adults who guide and facilitate rather than direct, and a wide variety of materials and activities which are structured in a sequential manner to facilitate natural development and to communicate concepts.
Montessori at the Early Childhood Level
We believe that all children have unique gifts and talents. We acknowledge that all children learn at different speeds, in different modalities and that they have special areas of interest. Montessori early childhood classrooms are responsive environments where the needs and spirit of each child can be tended with care and respect. The curriculum is formulated around the developmental, emotional, social and academic abilities of each child.
Children in the early childhood years possess an innate ability to absorb information from their surroundings, according to Dr. Montessori. She named the quality "the absorbent mind". Children are sensorial learners who soak up every aspect of the environment, including language and culture.
The Montessori approach embraces the development of the whole child, physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually.
American Montessori Society Affiliation and Teacher Training
The Learning Circle Montessori School is an affiliate of the American Montessori Society (AMS). The organization is dedicated to promoting better education for all children by developing Montessori programs, accrediting schools, granting credentials, encouraging research, organizing seminars and symposia, offering consulting services and promoting all other areas that relate to the Montessori philosophy.
"The secret of good teaching is to regard the child's intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown. Our aim therefore is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core."
Dr. Maria Montessori