More Info on Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician and a world-renowned educator, developed an approach to education that is based on the child’s natural desire to learn, combined with a basic respect for the individual child. She found, through her observations, that children between the ages of 0 and 6 years absorbed everything around them like a sponge, and that children learned without effort. She called this phenomenon The Absorbent Mind. It follows that a child’s experience could be enriched by a classroom where he could handle materials which would demonstrate basic educational information.
Dr. Montessori observed another childhood trait, termed The Sensitive Periods, which are periods of time during which it is easier for a child to learn a specific skill or concept than at any other period in life. This observation has been confirmed by modern scientific research. The Montessori Classroom takes advantage of these traits, using specialized Montessori materials, and unique ways of showing children how to “teach themselves.”
“Knowledge can best be given where there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period when the seed of everything can be sown, the child’s mind being like a fertile field, ready to receive what will germinate into knowledge.” (Dr. Maria Montessori)
The Montessori Classroom
The Montessori Classroom is carefully designed to take advantage of the Absorbent Mind and the Sensitive Periods. Each child selects individual activities which interest and engage him. The activities a two- to four-year-old chooses will help to develop concentration, co-ordination, self-discipline and good working habits, which are needed for the more advanced activities of the four- to six-year-old. The classroom is specially prepared to ensure that each child is challenged with fun, aesthetically pleasing, and enriched activities.
Part of the Directress’s job is to see that your child is happy, nurtured, and that the environment is meeting your child’s needs. This will foster self-confidence and independence, which will serve your child well in the years to come. The environment is one of non-competition, and because it is a “family grouping” of children ages two to six, social growth abounds as the children interact with each other on a daily basis.
A Web Site for Further Information
This site provides additional information on the Montessori method of education for young children.
• Association Montessori Internationale (AMI): AMI was founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori to maintain the integrity of her life’s work, and to ensure that it would be perpetuated after her death. Visit the AMI site for an article on the Montessori approach; there are lots of great photos, explanations of the method, the teachers, the areas and the different levels of Montessori education: Click Here to visit the AMI site.