Dr. Maria Montessori
Dr. Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian physician, anthropologist and educator who developed the Montessori method of education based on her scientific observation of the development patterns of children. This method has achieved success throughout the world over the last 80 years. Dr. Montessori was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize for education.
Montessori education combines:
- freedom with responsibility
- an active role for the children in their own learning
- the nurturing of academic excellence without testing
- social awareness and moral development
- a vision of humanity and its accomplishments that inspires children to take their place in the community as responsible contributing adults
Montessori Education Principles
Montessori discovered that the intellectual and social maturation of children does not occur in a steady linear ascent but rather takes place in a series of formative planes.
Illustration of Montessori’s formative planes
Montessori noted that children exhibit human tendencies towards certain universal actions in relation to the environment in 3-year stages of development. The most effective form of education enhances the particular growth areas to which the child is most responsive at that age thereby meeting their changing needs and capacities.
A well structured, ordered environment, with learning materials that are self-correcting, offers maximum potential for the child’s success and teaches organized problem solving.
Respect for each other, the self and the environment are taught within a peace curriculum that is multi-cultural and non-denominational. Subject matter from several disciplines are integrated within a global view that illustrates the interrelationship of all things.
Benefits of a Montessori Education
- The child’s inherent desire to learn and perfect his/her skills, is nurtured by the calm, quiet Montessori environment and the child develops a lifetime love of learning
- Each child works at his or her own pace and receives a high degree of individual attention with low student teacher ratios (10:1 in preschool and 18:1 in elementary)
- The child is honoured in this caring, community-minded education
- The child is empowered with the opportunity to fulfill his/her own potential thereby fostering:
- Self esteem
- The holistic Montessori curriculum is non-graded up to year 6, followed by a graded year 7 as preparation for integration with the next level of education.
- Integration from previous programs is possible with acceptance evaluated on an individual basis and no entrance exams.