The Montessori Philosophy
The Montessori Philosophy supports the holistic development of your child. The prepared Montessori nursery environment is inviting, has structure and order but still provides your child with freedom of choice and movement. The beautifully designed Montessori materials attract children attention and promote independent learning and exploration.
We, the teachers, gently guide and scaffold your childs learning by observing, recording and planning lessons based on their individual interests. As a result your child will learn at their own pace and according to their ability and interests.
Finally, the Montessori environment creates the space for your child to concentrate, become independent and because their opinion and interests are valued it encourages a life-long love for learning.
'"When a child is given a little leeway, he will at once shout, ’I want to do it!’ But in our schools, which have an environment adapted to children’s needs, they say, ‘Help me to do it alone."
Who Was Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori, 1870 – 1952 , was an Italian physician and pioneer of theories in early childhood education, best known for the Montessori philosophy of education, and her writing on scientific pedagogy. At an early age, Montessori broke gender barriers and expectations when she enrolled in classes at an all-boys technical school, with hopes of becoming an engineer. She soon had a change of heart and began medical school at the Sapienza University of Rome, where she graduated – with honors – in 1896. In so doing, Montessori became the first female doctor in Italy.
In 1907, Maria was placed in charge of the Casa dei Bambini school which enabled Montessori to create the "prepared learning" environment she believed was conducive to sense learning and creative exploration. Teachers were encouraged to stand back and "follow the child"—that is, to let children's natural interests take the lead. Over time, Montessori tweaked her methods through trial and error. Her writings further served to spread her ideology throughout Europe and the United States - By 1925 more than 1,000 of her schools had opened in America.
During World War II, Montessori developed Education for Peace in India and earned two Nobel Peace Prize nominations. Her educational method is in use today in many public and private schools globally.
In today’s world, as we strive towards becoming more enlightened and more in touch with being human, the Montessori method becomes even more relevant to our planet and human growth.
Montessori Approach in a nursery
Montessori education within a nursery is child-led and self-paced but guided, assessed, and enriched by knowledgeable and caring teachers and a nurturing environment.
Designed to create natural opportunities for independence, citizenship, and accountability—children embrace multi-sensory learning and passionate inquiry. Each child follows their own curiosity at their own pace, taking the time they need to fully understand each concept and meet individualized learning goals.
Given the freedom and support to question, probe deeply, and make connections, Montessori students grow up to be confident, enthusiastic, and self-directed learners and citizens, accountable to both themselves and their community. They think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly and with integrity. What better outcome could you wish for your children?
“The study of the child… may have an infinitely wider influence, extending to all human questions. In the mind of the child we may find the key to progress….”
- Dr. Maria Montessori
Planes of Development - The Way Children Grow
On the path from birth to adulthood the child passes through several distinct phases. In each of these phases he is not only physically different but he also has different psychological characteristics and therefore different developmental needs. At each phase, the child has such different physical and psychological characteristics that Montessori described the passing from one to the next as a ‘rebirth’, as if we have a new child at each phase who requires a different environment, just as the new born baby requires a different environment from the womb in which he has spent the last nine months.
The Absorbent Mind – A Special Way of Thinking
In the first six years of life the child has a very special kind of mind. It is the kind of mind that means that the newborn baby can learn any language in which he is immersed simply by living. It is the kind of mind that means that every baby becomes a child of the culture into which he is born – taking on the customs, habits, feelings and sentiments of that culture simply by living. For this reason Montessori called it the Absorbent Mind because the young child seems to just soak up everything in his environment without even thinking about it. The fact that the child has a mind like this means that much emphasis must be put on education in the first six years of life, while the child learns with total ease.
Sensitive Periods – Offer Windows of Opportunity
Montessori observed that during the first six years of life the child has particular periods of time when they are driven to seek something in the environment that results in them becoming engaged in some kind of activity. This activity leads them to acquire certain traits that we consider to be human – the ability to speak a language, the ability to use our hands to express our thoughts, the ability to reason. These Sensitive Periods, which overlap and support each other, last for a limited period of time and have all faded by the time the child is six, provide a timetable for optimal natural development and the Montessori approach puts great emphasis on supporting them during the first plane of development. Six sensitive periods are as follows: movement , language, refinement of senses, small objects, order and social aspects of life.
Human Tendencies – The Way Humans Naturally Behave
From the moment he is born the small baby strives to orientate himself and explore the things in his world, he reaches out to abstract meaning from everything he experiences, he is driven to be independent and he wants to find a way to communicate with the people around him. He is urged to manipulate things with his hands in order to know what they are, to concentrate on the task in front of him and to repeat things in order to make everything that he does more and more perfect.
These developmental drives are all a part of the natural behaviour that humans beings take with them through life and that help the baby adapt to his new world and to develop. Maria Montessori called them the Human Tendencies and she said that the environment must allow for all of these to be freely expressed by the child if he is to flourish.
Evidence to support Montessori method of education
This revolutionary method of observing and supporting the natural development of children helps children develop creativity, problem solving, social, and time- management skills, to contribute to society and the environment, and to become fulfilled persons in their particular time and place on Earth. The basis of Montessori practice in the classroom is respected individual choice of research and work, and uninterrupted concentration rather than group lessons led by an adult.
In reality, Montessori schools could and should offset these preconceived ideas about how a rigorous education “looks” by touting their academic prowess. Previous research has shown that students who attend Montessori schools foster higher levels of executive functioning skills like self-discipline, autonomy over learning, deep focus, critical reasoning and problem solving. Other studies have shown that students who attended Montessori elementary schools significantly outperformed peer groups on high school exams.
Although much of the current research on Montessori schools fails to disaggregate by race and income, a recent study shows promising results for elementary African-American students in public Montessori magnet programs when compared with both their peers at traditional public schools and those in other magnet programs. The Montessori Comeback