What is Montessori?
Montessori is a holistic approach to education based on hands-on activity and self-directed learning. Developed by Italian physician Maria Montessori, the philosophy is based on her extensive observations and research of children’s natural processes of development. She discovered that the first six years of a child’s life are the most important as it is a time where they effortlessly absorb information from their environment and develop the foundation for their entire personality.
Children are innately curious and through joyful interactions with their environment and experiential learning, they are able to cultivate a deep understanding of the world around them. In Montessori environments children develop both practical and intellectual skills through discovery and sensorial exploration with specifically designed materials. Children work in areas such as practical life, sensorial, language, math, science, geography, art and music. Much importance is also given to positive social interactions, with an emphasis on respect for one another and the environment. Through concrete, successful experiences children develop self-esteem, concentration and independence; characteristics that will aid them for life.
The Montessori classroom is beautifully designed and prepared to meet the various needs of all children throughout their different stages of growth and development. The environment invites children to move freely, explore their own interests, make choices and work both individually and in small groups.
Montessori education values the child as an individual, respecting every child’s own particular needs, curiosities and capabilities, allowing them to reach their fullest potential. It lights the path to a child’s love for learning that will last a lifetime.