2003 - 2017
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The Montessori Method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, who was Italy's first woman medical doctor in the late 1800's. Through her observations of children, she developed precise learning materials that stimulated independent exploration and allowed them to progress at their own rate. Her unique approach to learning included a prepared environment that facilitated a self-taught process with little teacher intervention. Dr. Montessori's goal for the children was for them to become self-motivated learners who would unfold their inner interests and find happiness within themselves.
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that no human being is educated by another person: he or she must do it themselves or it will never get done. Dr. Montessori felt, therefore, that the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate his or her own natural desire to learn. In the Montessori classroom this objective is approached in two ways. First, by allowing the child to experience the excitement of learning by his own choice rather than by being forced. Second, by helping him to perfect all his natural tools for learning. Dr. Montessori always emphasized that the hand is the chief teacher of the child. In order to learn there must be concentration and the best way children can concentrate is by fixing attention on some task being performed with their hands. All the equipment in a Montessori classroom allows the child to reinforce their "casual impressions" by inviting them to use their hands for learning.
The directress helps the individual child by guiding each child at his or her own pace, gently directing the child's natural energies towards constructive experiences. The children are provided with a prepared environment where they are given the opportunity to acquire a positive self-image, self-discipline, independence, courtesy and the ability to share with others. At the same time the child is building a firm educational foundation. Through this, the child gains the self-confidence necessary for their future development.
Is Montessori for you? It is if you can raise your child knowing that he or she belongs not to you but to themselves, and that your job as a parent is one of temporary privilege and responsibility: the aiding and observing of another life as it unfolds.