The Montessori method of education was created by Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first woman physician. Early in the 20th century, Dr. Montessori developed her educational concepts and tested them at a center in Rome.
Dr. Montessori cherished the uniqueness of each child and discovered that children learn best within environments that support individual development. She found that when children are in a home-like setting filled with developmentally appropriate materials, they become independent self-motivated learners.
The Primary goal of a Montessori program is to help each child reach his or her full potential. The “whole child” approach taken by Dr. Maria Montessori fosters growth in all areas because the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive needs of a child are seen as inseparable. This approach encourages joy of learning and development of self-esteem.
In a Montessori classroom, learning occurs in an inquiring, cooperative atmosphere. Social interaction among the children is encouraged, thereby promoting peer teaching and cooperative learning.
A nurturing environment is fostered in the classroom, providing children with a physically and psychologically safe place for learning.
Montessori students of mixed ages are together in the classroom. They are guided to create their own personal learning plans, choosing from the diverse materials, activities, and experiences available to them. They are allowed a large block of time for the individual work period. Their experiences as Montessori students promote respect for themselves, others, and their environment.