• Montessori

    phpthumb_generated_thumbnailjpg-9The Montessori Method is the product of an educational philosophy developed by Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) in the early years of this century. Dr. Montessori was Italy’s first woman doctor, but she is far better known as an educator and an innovator in the field of early childhood education.

    The work of Dr. Montessori and the formulation of her method constitutes an interesting story. As a young medical school graduate, Dr. Montessori was appointed head of an institution for mentally deficient children, what would now be called “developmentally disadvantaged” children. The care these children received was limited to feeding and keeping them reasonably clean in a sterile and unstimulating environment. Dr. Montessori felt that the minds of these children could be reached by effecting teaching methods. She astounded the Roman medical establishment by showing that these “retarded” children could outscore normal school children I tests. Her next step was to apply these same principles to normal children. Her method and fame soon spread beyond Italy to the rest of Europe, the United States, and as far as India. Maria Montessori devoted her life to the research and observation of children and established numerous centers around the world where her method has been put into practice.

    The Montessori Method is aimed at the development of a child’s full potential, both physical and mental. Dr. Montessori believed that the initial years (birth to six years) are the crucial once for the child’s development and that the smallest infancy’s mind is active and must receive the proper stimuli. Her philosophy of education is based on her respect for the children and his needs. She believed that the pre-school years (ages five and under), when a child is developing his concept of himself, are fundamental to his future fulfillment. “Before anyone can assume… responsibility, he must be convinced that he is master of his own actions and have confidence in himself.” She saw that unsatisfied needs of the children inevitably leave their mark in the adult. She believed that the “establishment of a new and better relationship between children and adults” would solve a fundamental problem in education. The Montessori Method is an approach to education which emphasizes the potential by means of prepared environment, utilizing specially trained teachers and uniquely designed learning materials and apparatus having inherent appeal to the pre-school age child. The goal of a Montessori education is to foster independence, self-direction, responsibility, self discipline, self acceptance and love of learning in the development of the child.

    “The habits and skills which the child obtains at school are good for a lifetime. They will help them work more efficiently, to observe more carefully, and to concentrate more effectively through their life.”
    – Maria Montessori