The Montessori Method
"Montessori is an education for independence, preparing not just for school, but for life".
Maria Montessori’s method is based on the profound respect for the potential of the individual. Her theory was that children learn best when they are able to follow their individual interests, and that the child’s “work” is to develop the person he or she is to become.
The method is a highly hands-on approach to learning. It encourages children to develop their observation skills by doing various types of activities.
These activities include the use of the 5 senses, spatial refinement, as well as small and large motor skill coordination.
There are no grades, or other forms of achievement and assessment, as Maria Montessori believed that this would be damaging to the inner growth of the child.
Each child is encouraged to progress at his or her own level of readiness.
We believe that the accomplishment and behavioUr of the children, their concentration, love of learning, maturity, happiness, and eagerness to come to school speak for themselves, in more ways than a report card ever could.
The Montessori classroom provides an atmosphere that encourages children to explore and discover meaning for themselves about the world that surrounds them.
It is a “prepared environment” which allows children to learn at their own pace, choose work of their own choice, and interact with others in a natural, respectful, and peaceful environment.
This prepared environment is constituted of 5 distinct areas:
Cultural activities – geography, biology, sciences, music, art…
Classrooms are arranged in mixed age groups. This creates a very rich educational experience.
Children learn from other classmates by looking at them work, which builds strong ties of respect, cooperation, and develops their socialization.
They are invited to work in individual and uninterrupted work cycles in order to stimulate their power of concentration.
The class is run in such a way to promote the children’s freedom to make spontaneous choices, to be independent, and to develop a sense of responsibility within the group.
The Montessori Materials
Maria Montessori designed her material to meet the needs of children at each stage of their development, what she called “sensitive periods”.
These sensitive periods can be described as a specific time when children are more apt to learn from and absorb particular experiences.
Each material isolates one quality, such as size, colour, form, and texture, and has its specific place in the classroom.
Each piece of material is unique in the class. Indeed, children must learn to be patient and wait for their friend to finish their work before he or she can work on it themselves.
The material is self-correcting. There is no need for adult correction – the child is able to solve problems independently, which builds his or her self-confidence and personal satisfaction that comes from accomplishment.