About Maria Montessori
|Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder of Montessori
Method of education, was born in Italy in 1870. Upon
graduating from a medical school in 1896, she became
the first woman to qualify as a doctor in Italy. As
a physician, Maria Montessori had an opportunity to
work with children and to observe them under a
variety of circumstances. She used scientific
methods to observe and analyse how children learn
and was amazed to see their effortless ability to
absorb knowledge from their environment, as well as
their sustained interest in manipulating
developmental materials. She discovered that their
learning capabilities are specific to their
developmental stage of life.
Overtime, she formalized her study of children and designed tools to help children learn. Dr. Maria Montessori travelled widely for the rest of her life writing, teaching, and lecturing around the world. She was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize, and she lived to see herself and her theories acclaimed throughout the world. She died in 1952 leaving a legacy that continues to grow as more of her ideas are implemented in classrooms worldwide. Today, Montessori schools are found all around the world and Maria Montessori’s work continues to grow, serving the needs of children.
Montessori approach is based on the principle that education should be an aid to life. It is a holistic approach that aims to develop the whole child. The fundamental to this approach is the belief that from birth to six years, a child has the greatest capacity to learn and have an immense capacity to absorb information, when given the freedom
and independence to learn at their own pace. This results in a non-competitive environment and it gives the child a unique opportunity to fulfil the child’s own potential.
Children of mixed age groups and of different abilities work side by side in the same environment and it helps in inculcating feelings of friendship, respect for the rights of others, and allows the child to witness their own growth in a very concrete way. Specially trained teachers carefully monitor each child's development, recognising and interpreting every child's needs. Montessori emphasis that all children need to grow up as confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit.
The typical Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment with precise materials which educate and refine a child’s senses. There is nothing in a Montessori classroom that is put there by accident. Every material has a purpose and the activities aid the child to develop their sensory, numeric, language and practical skills. The well organised, attractive materials in the classroom awaken the child’s desire to learn and channel this curiosity into a joyful learning experience. Children are free
to choose the materials and work individually or in small groups which encourage social interaction, cooperative learning, peer teaching, and emotional development. In order for children to make sense of the world, they need to experience with their senses, need to touch, move, manipulate, smell, taste and construct and our Montessori classroom gives them the opportunity to explore and fulfil these natural desires in a child.
Our Montessori teachers prepare the environment with suitable age appropriate activities and demonstrate the correct use of materials to the children, incorporating teaching strategies that support and facilitate the total growth of each child. Our teachers are specifically trained to observe and to respond to the needs of each child and to direct the whole group. Documenting a child’s work is an ongoing process in a Montessori classroom, where the teacher tries to collect information about the child through her observations and the child’s achievements, strengths and weaknesses are carefully assessed and directed towards results.