The Montessori Approach

The Montessori Approach to Education, founded by Dr. Maria Montessori at the beginning of the 20th century:

  • Is a philosophy based on scientific observation of child development;
  • Is based on the real needs of the child as opposed to the adult concept of what a children should be given;
  • Is a comprehensive method of guiding child development so that each one can be helped to realize his full potential;
  • Recognizes that no human being is educated by another, cultivates and encourages each child’s inner urge to learn;
  • Takes into account the innate mental powers, possessed by each young child, to absorb knowledge and to learn from his environment;
  • Emphasizes that the child’s first six years are the most important, in that his learning experiences in these early years will colour his whole approach to learning through to adulthood;
  • And recognizes that each child deserves respect as an individual who has a deep need for purposeful work.  Unlike the adult, whose interest is to complete the activity, the child achieves self-development through the effort of perfecting the activity.

A Montessori Classroom

  • Encourages the child to explore a range of carefully thought out materials in his own time and at his own pace;
  • He learns by his own choice of work and has the excitement of making his own discoveries;
  • Supports the child’s activity by means of a framework of simple rules, which gives him the freedom he needs to develop himself without abusing the freedom of other children;
  • Makes learning a pleasant and rewarding activity – much of the equipment is self-correcting and the child can see for himself when he has succeeded.  The activities foster independence and an orderly approach to problem-solving from an early age.

The Montessori Teacher

  • Does little direct teaching in the formerly understood sense of imparting knowledge – her task is rather to observe each child in order to assess his individual needs and to act as a dynamic link between the child and the educational material.