Montessori Education

mm1933Dr. Montessori said, “It is true, we cannot make a genius.  We can only give each individual the chance to fulfill his or her potential possibilities to become an independent, secure and balanced human being.”

Maria Montessori 1951The basic idea in the Montessori philosophy of education is that all children possess unique gifts. In order to develop physical, intellectual, and spiritual potential to the fullest, the child must have freedom. This freedom is achieved through order and self-discipline. The world of the child is full of sights and sounds which at first appear chaotic. From this, children must gradually create order and slowly, but surely, gain mastery of themselves and their environment.

Dr. Montessori developed what she called the ‘Prepared Environment’, which already possesses a certain order and allows the children to learn at their own pace, according to their own capacities and in a non-competitive atmosphere. “Never let children risk failure until they have a reasonable chance of success,” states Dr. Montessori. The years between three and six are the years in which children learn the rules of human behavior most easily. These years can be constructively devoted to ‘freeing’ children to take their places in their culture.

000980Dr. Montessori has recognized that the only valid impulse to learning is the self-motivation of the child. Children naturally move toward learning. The teacher prepares the environment, directs the activity, and offers the child stimulation, but it is the child who learns, and is motivated to persist in a given task. Montessori children are free to learn because they have acquired an inner discipline from their exposure to both physical and mental order. Patterns of concentration, persistence, and thoroughness, established in early childhood, produce a confident, competent learner in later years. Children in a Montessori environment are allowed to observe, to think, to judge. They are introduced to the joy of learning and are provided with a framework in which intellectual and social discipline go hand-in-hand.