- A simple explanation of the Montessori Method of education
Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. She became the first woman doctor in her country’s history. Her early work was with retarded and poor children. By close observation and experiment, the system which she devised enabled these deprived children to attain levels of learning normally associated with average children. Her great triumph came when her “retarded” pupils took state examinations along with “normal” children – and passed! The educational establishment of the day was forced to recognise the breakthrough.
The Montessori Method Is different from other educational systems. It is based on a realistic balance between freedom and a structure specifically designed to help the young child.
There are three parts to the Montessori Method – the child, the environment and the directress. The Montessori Method is based on an understanding of the child as he is; and Dr Montessori then created an environment designed to help the child develop as a total person. Within this environment the roll of the teacher is to direct the child’s activity, so we prefer the term directress rather than teacher.
The Montessori Methods allows your child to learn in the way that he feels most natural – by doing things himself. Gradually, the child builds up a strong sense of independence, coupled with an ability to sustain concentration. His confidence grows as his range of skills increases. The Method is founded on the child’s natural curiosity and the love of learning, and it helps the child to follow his natural rate of development, encouraging him to attempt new projects as his ability increases.
The Montessori environment is the real “teacher” since by using a wide range of different Montessori materials in the company of the children, the child is helping to teach himself. The environment is attractive to the children in being generally simple, child-sized and capable of correction by themselves. In this way, there is no need for an adult to point out a mistake and perhaps injure the child’s self-esteem.
A directress has many tasks. Often she is hardly noticeable among the children at work. Her experience and training make her keenly aware of each child’s fundamental needs for development. She is available to every child as a sympathetic helper, guiding him in the proper use of the materials and equipment.
We hope you will make an appointment to visit the school prior to registration when we shall be most happy to show you our Montessori environment and answer your queries.