The Montessori Approach
Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori over one hundred years ago, a Montessori education nurtures self-directed learning with activities that promote the development of social skills, emotional growth and physical coordination as well as the acquisition of knowledge. The highly integrated curriculum allows students to develop self-discipline, respect for themselves, others, and the world around them. Children experience the joy of learning, time to enjoy the process and the self-esteem that accompanies independent learning.
Learning is a Life Skill
A Montessori environment focuses more on a student’s learning than on a teacher’s teaching. Specially trained Montessori teachers guide, coach and facilitate each child’s learning through continuous observation and assessment.
Montessori teachers recognize a natural curiosity and desire to learn in children and employ specially designed materials to harness this curiosity. Montessori materials help students to understand what they are learning by associating abstract concepts with concrete sensorial experiences.
The Montessori approach to education stresses that students learn and progress at their own pace. For this reason fast learners are not held back and slower learners are not frustrated by their inability to keep up.
The Montessori class community has mixed ages; 3-6, 6-9, 9-12 and 12-14 years. The multi-age grouping in each class provides a family-like setting where learning can take place naturally. The dynamic of mixed ages recognizes learning as a social process and provides opportunities for older students to mentor the younger ones. Through their interaction, students learn the importance of cooperation, respect, collaboration not competition, while mentoring a classmate reinforces their learning.
In Montessori classrooms, students are learning skills to care for themselves, their environment and their community. There are activities that develop spoken and written language, reading, mathematics and the natural sciences. Music, art, storytelling, movement and drama are part of every Montessori program and creativity flourishes in an atmosphere of acceptance and trust.
Philosophical Approach - A Comparison