“I beg the dear all-powerful children to unite with me for the building of peace in Man and in the world.”
Method of the Montessori Philosophy
The Montessori Philosophy has been time-tested for 75 years and has achieved success throughout the world with children. In the scientifically prepared environment of the true Montessori school, the child develops the prime elements of character: freedom, concentration, independence, self-discipline, industry, sense of reality … in an atmosphere of co-operation. The child’s natural development of language is utilized in the process of learning to read. Habits and skills developed in a Montessori classroom remain for a lifetime. The Montessori classroom is a land of opportunity for the child as well as a truly joyful place to be. Though much has been said about the academic achievements of Montessori children, the true value lies in the self-discipline, self-mastery and love of learning that children achieve.
Joy in learning, independence, a peaceful and calm environment, and successful application of the century-old Montessori philosophy are the goals for traditional Montessori schools.
- Montessori is a totally positive environment for children.
- Each child is taught individually.
- Children work at their own pace and at their own level.
- Children have the unique opportunity to fulfill their potential.
As Dr. Montessori said:
“The word education must not be understood in the sense of teaching but of assisting the psychological development of the child.” “We must support as much as possible the child’s desires for activity; not wait on him, but educate him to be independent.”
Biography of Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori (Wikipedia Article) was born in Italy on August 31, 1870. She was born to a well respected family and was expected to grow up to fulfill the traditional role of the Italian woman. Instead she pursued an advanced degree at the University of Rome and became the first woman physician to graduate in Italy. Her interest drew her to work with children, initially those who were disadvantaged and had special needs. Because she was an anthropologist, Dr. Montessori’s decisions about working with children were made by observing them first. She was not trained as an educator and thus her decisions were based upon watching what children did and what they were attracted to. Through her observations and trial and error, she developed what became known as the Montessori Method of education. It was a radical departure in Montessori’s own time. She did not place children in restrictive environments, but instead designed the environment to reflect children. Tables and chairs were child-sized and materials were placed on low shelves to be readily accessible to the students. In addition, many of the skills were designed to teach children how to become more independent and do things for themselves. Dr. Montessori continued throughout her life to work for the betterment of the lives of children, founding training centers for teachers and dispersing this method of education throughout the world. During her later years her focus became centered on educating children to promote the principles of peace. Her legacy has been the establishment of Montessori schools around the world, which promote the cause of the child as a citizen of the world.
“The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination. Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core. We do not want complacent pupils, but eager ones. We seek to sow life in the child rather than theories, to help him in his growth, mental and emotional as well as physical, and for that we must offer grand and lofty ideas to the human mind”.
Montessori allows children to experience the excitement of learning by their own choice. Montessori philosophy and attitudes are most consistent with the needs of a child in the process of developing and learning.
- To help children become confident, happy, calm, purposeful, free and independent.
- To stimulate the physical, emotional, intellectual and social growth of the total child.
- To provide a warm and accepting environment in which each child feels secure, respected, and loved.
- To provide an enriched, stimulating environment with safe limits within which the child is an active explorer.
- To encourage the child to become self-directed and challenged.
- To provide a frame work of discipline through which a child can develop self-discipline and personal strength.
- To develop creativity and a positive self-image.
- To provide a cross-cultural environment in which the foundations of global peace may be laid.
- To awaken children’s interest in all subjects and to encourage in them a love of learning.
- To give children an understanding of the world and respect for all they find in it.
Ten fundamental rules outlined by Dr. Maria Montessori. They serve as a reminder to teachers and to the administration, and an outline to parents and students of what the expectations are when it comes to the care of children.
Never touch the child unless invited by him (in some form or the other).
Never speak ill of the child in his presence or absence.
Concentrate on strengthening and helping the development of what is good in the child so that its presence may leave less and less space for evil.
Be active in preparing the environment. Take meticulous and constant care of it. Help the child establish constructive relations with it. Show the proper place where the means of development are kept and demonstrate their proper use.
Be ever ready to answer the call of the child who stands in need of you and always listen and respond to the child who appeals to you.
Respect the child who makes a mistake and can then or later correct himself, but stop firmly and immediately any misuse of the environment and any action which endangers the child, his development or others.
Respect the child who takes rest or watches others working or ponders over what he himself has done or will do. Neither call him, nor force him to other forms of activity.
Help those who are in search of activity and cannot find it.
Be untiring in repeating presentations to the child who refused them earlier, in helping the child acquire what is not yet his own and overcome imperfections. Do this by animating the environment with care, with restraint and silence, with mild words and loving presence. Make your ready presence felt to the child who searches and hide from the child who has found.
Always treat the child with the best of good manners and offer him the best you have in yourself and at your disposal.