Of all things, love is the most potent.
The Montessori Way
The main characteristic of Montessori education is the Montessori classroom which is a prepared environment where children are free to think, feel, act, and want to learn by themselves. In this prepared environment, the teacher is a guide and observer. Her role is to motivate and stimulate the children; to nurture them so that they will learn to develop discipline and confidence and will ultimately achieve discovery and learning.
A Montessori education ensures that children are provided with a nurturing environment. This is what we also offer to all the members of our Montessori community. As educators and teachers, it is our responsibility to keep learning, improving, and growing.
“The teacher, the child, and the environment create a learning triangle. The classroom is prepared by the teacher to encourage independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order. The child, through individual choice, makes use of what the environment offers to develop himself, interacting with the teacher when support and/or guidance is needed.”
– The American Montessori Society
A Montessori Prepared Environment
The Montessori prepared environment is a classroom where children of mixed ages are gathered and then grouped in different development stages. As such, they are able to interact with one another. They learn how to work together harmoniously and with respect. The younger groups can observe older children at play. This helps them develop socialization skills.
The Montessori way encourages children to play – play as a creative way of discovering and learning. So, children do not spend the whole day sitting on their chairs, writing on their notebooks, and listening to the teacher’s lectures. Instead, they are encouraged and motivated to go around the classroom, explore, discover, and learn.
In a typical Montessori classroom, children are grouped into three:
The Montessori Classroom
The Montessori way emphasizes that children learn by interacting with their environment. This is why Montessori classrooms follow a particular pattern. It allows children to move freely so they can comfortably perform their activities.
The Montessori classroom is clean, open, well-organized, pleasing to the eyes, and spacious. It has different areas categorized according to themes, where children can find various materials that they can use for their play.
The tables, chairs, and shelves are built and positioned according to the sizes and heights of the children.
A Montessori classroom is child-centered.
“Play is the work of the child.” – Maria Montessori
“The essence of Montessori education is to help the child in its development and help you adapt to any condition that the present requires.” – Maria Montessori
A Little Background on Maria Montessori
Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori, known around the world as Maria Montessori, was an Italian physician and educator. She created the Montessori Method in the early 20th century. But this wasn’t the only thing she was known for. Maria always knew what she wanted and she never stopped until she got it.
For starters, she went to a for-boys-only technical school because she wanted to be an engineer. Maria eventually went to medical school, where she again broke a lot of barriers because of her gender. Early on in her medical career, she started working with children, particularly those with disabilities and cognitive delays. This was to become the beginning of her dedication to children.
The Montessori Method was created in the early part of the 20th century. This was after Maria spent years working on methods of educating children with mental disabilities. She gradually began applying these methods to normal children and this led to the creation of the Montessori Method of Education. It was on January 07, 1907 when the first Casa dei Bambini was opened to the public.
Maria Montessori Quotes
Among many other things, Maria is also known for her anecdotes and quotes about children – and about Montessori education and education in general. These quotes have remained popular over the years and have even become some sort of a guide for educators, teachers, and parents who are still learning the Montessori Method.
The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist”.
Education must begin at birth.
Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.
Free the child’s potential and you will transform him into the world.
Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.