The Montessori philosophy is based on love of the child, respect for the child’s dignity, and a strong desire to help the child realize his or her full potential. Dr. Montessori rejected the perception that all children learn in the same way and at the same time. Instead, she designed an educational system whereby teachers would carefully observe a child and ask, “What does this child understand? What is the next concept this child needs to learn?” Montessori teachers determine a child’s individual stage of development and individual needs and interests, and respond by providing material tailored to the needs of each particular child at the moment.
Young children experience transient periods of sensitivity – periods in which the child is most interested in acquiring a specific skill necessary for his/her growth – and are intrinsically drawn to activities that meet their developmental need to refine their physical development, language, order, fine motoric, small object manipulation, social and sensory skills. The Montessori educational method empowers children to develop these skills at a pace most suitable to them.
Materiales are devided into 5 areas:
THE MONTESSORI WORK CYCLE
How do we put this system into practice?
What makes Montessori unique? Its insistence on freedom within a prepared environment. Hence, we don’t “mandate”, we “invite” and we “entice”. To do this we must have a 3-hour uninterrupted morning work cycle. Between 8:00 am and 11:30 am a child decides which materials to engage with, for how long to pursue the activity, and with whom to share the experience under the teacher’s guidance.
The purpose of long, uninterrupted blocks of work time is to allow pupils to select work freely, eventually becoming absorbed in work that has a particular fascination for them at this point in their development. Interruptions, no matter how valuable the alternative activity might seem to be, disturbs the fragile development of the child’s focus, concentration, and intellectualexploration on his or her own.
MIXED AGE GROUPS
The mixed age grouping of a Montessori environment is a huge part of what makes the dynamics of the environment successful. It allows the children to learn from each other. The older children love to share their knowledge and it enables the younger ones to learn from them. The older students are tremendous role models for the younger children and by watching the older children, the younger ones strive to challenge themselves and look forward to future activities and presentations.
Maria Montessori developed an environment that takes into account the size, pace and interests of boys and girls. In the Montessori Classroom, Dr. Montessori’s materials are intended to be used as “tools to develop a child’s world”, and are designed to sustain a child’s interest in learning. Our classrooms are designed to accommodate the specific physical attributes of children (i.e. their height and strength); what you will find in our pre-school facility is a development and child-oriented environment. The schoolroom is a launch pad, upon which children are sent into the world on a journey of discovery. Each child is free to choose their own course in the program, and has the opportunity to learn independently and at their own pace about him or herself and the world. In this way the classroom is an incubator of independence, self-appreciation, self-respect, personal responsibility, personal satisfaction and mental health.