The Montessori Method
Dr Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952) an Italian woman was the first woman to attend medical school and become the first female Doctor of Medicine in Italy. Through her work with handicapped and socially deprived children, she developed her unique educational method known as the Montessori Method. Through further learning, observation and research she found the principles of her method to be appropriate to all children. She has been remarkably prominent in the way we understand and teach our children today. Not only is her influence depicted in the number of education facilities and teaching institutions bearing her name, but throughout child care, teaching and child progress as well. Many of her notions are now incorporated in our common understanding, language as well as the way we see our children. She was an amazing discoverer in the field of education and her methods which were once frowned upon are now met with great resilience and respect.
Why is Montessori Education Exclusive?
The whole child approach:
The primary aim of the Montessori Method is to assist each child to reach their full potential in all areas of life at their own pace. The method promotes and develops social skills, emotional growth, physical coordination and well as rational preparation for future academic accomplishments. The universal curriculum, under the direction of a prepared Directress, allows the child to experience the pleasure of learning while enjoying the process. This ensures the development of self-esteem while providing the experiences from which children can learn and generate understanding.
The Prepared Environment:
For self-directed learning to take place, the setting must be supportive of the child. A well prepared setting includes the classroom, resources, materials, as well as the entire atmosphere.
The Directress makes the necessary resources available, together with opportunities for children to function in a safe and constructive environment. This enables each child to form a relationship with the Directress based on trust and respect which promotes self-confidence and an eagerness to attempt different things.
Through observation Maria Montessori noted the interest expressed by children pertaining to enjoyment and repetition. This led her to design materials to facilitate her learning method. She designed many multi-sensory, sequential and self-correcting materials.
The Montessori Directress (teacher) functions as a designer of the environment, resource being, role model, demonstrator, record-keeper and thorough onlooker of each child’s behavior and progression. The Directress enables learning.
The Montessori Environment
This forms the groundwork of individuality for each child. Life skills are taught benefiting each and every child.
Sensorial activities used are geared towards a specific sense. The activity focuses on a specific task without other concepts interfering.
The cultural programme offers themes including botany, zoology, geography, history, art, music and science. As the child’s personality is developing through the use of senses, each of these topics are presented in a ‘hands-on’ manner enabling the child to become the core of the presentation.
This programme is comprised of phonetic words, phonograms, sight words and grammar. Each programme is presented at the correct time of the child’s language development.
The Montessori Philosophy
Maria Montessori observed that there were definite things which were imperative for a child’s normal progress. Below is a list of these:
- Natural Spirituality
- Children flourish with order and structure
- Children move through sensitive periods
- Children learn through their senses
- Children need independence
- Children learn through their senses
- Children absorb their culture
- Directresses – Big Teachers
- Older Children – Little Teachers
- Children are natural learners
- Processes not results
At Little Angels Montessori we believe that each child is an individual and should be encouraged to work at the pace that is right and comfortable for them. There are no grades or tests resulting in children never having the feeling of being in competition with one another. No child will feel as if they are under pressure to perform as we believe that learning should be fun!