The Montessori method
Dr Maria Montessori was born in Chiaravaille, Italy, and became the first woman in Italy to graduate from medical school. She began working with children and through observations and development of her methods achieved remarkable results. Her scientific observations and analysis led her to discoveries which are still recognised today as profound. She devoted herself to educational reform and became an advocate of social reform through the education of children. Dr Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times.
The Montessori method is the largest educational pedagogical system in use in the world today. Montessori schools have used the method for 103 years with a diverse range of styles of programme in operation. Montessori is not a franchise and there is no head office or controlling body. Schools are free to offer their unique blend of facilities and local personality.
The Montessori method gives children the opportunity to develop responsibility, and respect for themselves and others through work in the prepared environment, leading to self-esteem and independence. The child develops a love of learning as he build skills in concentration, organisation and cooperation while working at his own individual pace and pursuing their own interests.
Elements of the Montessori Method
♦ Classes bring children together in multi-age groups spanning three years. Usually 3-6yrs, 6-9yrs, 9-12yrs etc
♦ Children progress as they are ready at an individual level. There are no limits to children’s learning applied.
♦ Concrete learning materials are used which the children freely access and are actively engaged with. These special purpose Montessori materials are carefully crafted and arranged within the classroom to draw the child to activity.
♦ Children have developmental periods where they are particularly sensitive for learning. The needs and characteristics of learning stages and styles are supported.
♦ Teachers (Directress’s) are professionally trained individuals who understand the philosophy behind the developmental theory, who plan and use the materials, and who observe the children.
The following links provide information about the History of Montessori, the philosophy and worldwide school links;