THE MONTESSORI PHILOSOPHY
“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”
— Maria Montessori, Education for a New World
EDUCATING THE WHOLE CHILD:
Montessori education is beyond academia. Montessori education includes the development of emotional, social, and interpersonal skills, as well as creating confident, capable and responsible beings, becoming a positive contribution to the world around them.
CHILD FOCUSED WORK:
Education is geared towards each and every child's unique interests and curiosities creating excitement and a love for learning. Children select activities of choice that they find both meaningful and challenging, allowing them to increase their self confidence and independence through the purposefully designed activities and materials.
THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT:
The guide, child and environment are all equal partners in the classroom. The guide observes each specific child, to prepare the most optimal learning environment. In a prepared environment, a child has complete independence, allowing him to choose from any of the materials and activities placed on the shelf by the guide.
FREEDOM WITHIN LIMITS:
The development of a child's independence is one of the main focuses of a Montessori classroom. It is understood that autonomy and decision-making skills are vital to growth. The guide prepares the environment, allowing freedom within limits, which will strengthen self-initiation within children.
Young children advance through stages of formidable curiosities, which Maria Montessori understood to be important milestones, calling it sensitive periods. During this time, children are especially open to absorbing particular skills and academic concepts, such as movement, order, language, mathematics and more. It is the responsibility of the guide to observe these quick passing moments and prepare an environment rich with materials and lessons to nurture what it is the child is seeking during this sensitive period.
MIXED AGED CLASSROOMS:
Montessori classrooms are mixed aged classrooms. Student in the Toddler group range between the ages of 18 months to 3 years old and in the Primary level, it is comprised of children between the ages of 3 and 6 years of age. Having a three year cycle allows for the guide to truly understand each child, their strengths, weaknesses and capabilities, providing them with what is needed to meet their needs. Children also create strong bonds with one another, creating a family like environment. Younger children look up to the older children, allowing the older children to step into the position of leadership and guide the younger children.
UNDISTURBED WORK TIME:
Over long stretches of time, children independently choose activities from the shelf and work on it for as long as they wish. During this work period, there is minimal distractions and interruptions,
developing a child's sense of order, expanding concentration levels, practicing coordination skills, and becoming more independent.
ONE ON ONE LESSONS:
During work time, the guide gives individual lessons to each child, based on the child's current developmental needs and where they are holding academically.