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A Montessori school is a learning center based on the whole child educational approach of Maria Montessori (1870-1952), the first female physician to graduate from the University of Rome. She believed that children have a natural, spontaneous interest in learning. A Montessori program is directed at helping each child reach full potential in all areas of life.
Every Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment to promote the child’s development of social skills, emotional maturity, independence, and physical coordination, in addition to intellectual growth. An essential feature of the method involves the mingling of ages within each classroom, over a three year range. The resulting atmosphere allows for flexibility for each child to learn at his/her own pace in a home-like environment where younger children learn from their slightly older peers, and older children reinforce their own achievements by helping the younger ones.
Check out the links below to learn more about a Montessori education.
- SVMS Video – Hear from current and former parents, students and teachers, and learn about what makes SVMS unique!
- Montessori 101: Some Basic Information that Every Montessori Parent Should Know
- Montessori Advocate Trevor Eissler’s “Montessori Madness!” video
- Montessori Builds Innovators, by Andrew McAfee
- Develop Leaders the Montessori Way, by Ambiga Dhiraj
The Montessori Method
The Montessori approach envisions education as “an aid to life.” Montessori is both a philosophy of child development and an educational approach, which respects each childʼs unique personality. The core principles are drawn from the natural development of the child and designed to help each child with their inner construction. The method allows for modification to the needs of the individual, regardless of the level of ability, learning styles, or social maturity. The focus of Montessori education continually changes in scope and manner to meet the childʼs changing needs and interests.
- An emphasis on cognitive structures and social development
- Teacherʼs role is unobtrusive; child actively participates in learning.
- Environment and methods encourage internal self-discipline.
- Individual and group instruction adapts to each studentʼs learning style.
- 3 year mixed age group.
- Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate with, and help each other.
- Child chooses own work from interest and abilities and is thus self-motivated.
- Child formulates concepts from self-teaching, multi-sensory, hands on materials.
- Child works as long as she/he wants on chosen projects.
- Child sets own learning pace to internalize information.
- Child corrects own error through feedback from materials.
- Learning is reinforced internally through childʼs own repetition of activity, and feelings of success.
- Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration and development.
- Organized program for learning care of self and environment.
- Child can work where he/she is comfortable, moves and talks at will (yet does not disturb others); group work is voluntary and negotiable.
- Child is introduced to the joy of learning at an early age providing a framework for intellectual and social discipline.
- Child builds within himself the foundation for a lifetime of learning.
- Organized program to help parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process.
Concisely, Montessori inspires children to discover the joy of learning at an early age and allows them to take responsibility for their own education. Children develop an appreciation for life, for the world, for the universe, while becoming responsible human beings and active members of a harmonious society. Montessori provides a framework in which intellectual and social discipline goes hand in hand, laying the foundation for a happy, productive life.