The Montessori method is a child-centred educational method based on the theories of Italian physician and educator Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952). Dr. Montessori began her work in education at the turn of the century and went on to dedicate her life to the cause of the child. She believed that education begins at birth and that the first six years of life, being the most formative, are the more important both physically and mentally.
Montessori emphasizes self-directed activity on the part or the child, and guidance and observation of the teacher who plays a vital link between the child and their surroundings. Dr. Montessori created enticing sensory materials for young children to manipulate, and through their exploration they begin to understand higher-level abstract concepts, develop inner discipline and foster their natural curiosities. She discovered that through the facilitation of guidance and freedom, children develop a positive sense of self and their community. This type of learning promotes motivation and discovery while keeping pace with each individual child’s developmental journey to help them reach their full potential.
Montessori classrooms provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work. The children’s innate passion for learning is encouraged by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous, purposeful activities with the guidance of a trained adult. Through their work, the children develop concentration and joyful self-discipline. Within a framework of order, the children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities.