The Montessori method was designed over 100 years ago by Dr. Maria Montessori an Italian physician. Dr. Montesori designed this educational system to express her philosophy of child development. The Montessori child is a motivated doer, rather than empty vessel. The Montessori child learns through self-instigated actions on his environment.
A child’s work is to create the person she/he will become.” Children are born with special mental powers which aid in the work of their own construction. But they cannot accomplish the task of self-construction without purposeful movement, exploration, and discovery of their environment – both the things and people within it. They must be given the freedom to use their inborn powers to develop physically, intellectually, and spiritually. A Montessori classroom provides this freedom within the limits of an environment which develops a sense of order and self-discipline.
Respect for a child’s personality and trust in the inner potentialities are essential to self esteem and creating a complete adult. ”
The Montessori Experience
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that no human being is educated by another person. He must do it himself or it will never be done. A truly educated individual continues learning long after the hours and years he spends in the classroom because he is motivated from within by a natural curiosity and love of knowledge. In the Montessori classroom this objective is approached in two ways: first, by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by his own choice rather than by being forced; and second, by helping to perfect all his natural tools for learning, so that his ability will be at maximum in future learning situations. The Montessori materials have this dual long range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child
Students make discoveries about abstract concepts by working with three-dimensional materials that appeal to them. Montessori education facilitates the acquisition of new knowledge in part by building it on old knowledge in a very coherent curriculum.
Montessori students are often recognized for their respect for self, for others and for the environment around them. Students learn to independently manage their time and develop a focused, self-motivated work ethic.
We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but by virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.
– Maria Montessori