The founder of Montessori practice, Maria Montessori, was born in 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy and died in 1952 in The Netherlands. Maria Montessori’s training as a scientist allowed her to observe children with an eye towards recognizing their intrinsic needs. She created educational materials that matched children’s developmental needs.
The main concepts for Montessori are:
RESPECT for the Child: Each one of us is unique and deserves respect.
The Absorbent Mind: The first six years of life are immensely important in terms of learning. During this period, children have the extraordinary ability to learn almost effortlessly; they “absorb” information from their environment.
The Prepared Environment: Children learn best and become confident individuals in an environment where appropriate activities are available, where they can choose their own activities, and where they can progress at their own pace. We incorporate this into our practice by creating an environment that complements children’s learning ability, and a curriculum that challenges but does not frustrate them.
Purposeful Work: This is accomplished through meaningful activities designed to help children succeed. We incorporate the idea of purposeful work in all our activities at school, providing various paths to learning including hands-on materials, carefully chosen textbooks, and direct interaction between teachers and students.
Human Potential: Education begins at birth and never ends. If children’s developmental needs are met, children will be able to maximize their potential. At PWA, we strive daily to meet each child’s needs, aided in this goal by maintaining small class sizes.
This information was adapted from “A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori” by Aline D. Wolf.