What is Montessori?
Today Montessori refers to a form of education established by Maria Montessori who was the first woman to qualify as a doctor in Italy. (1896). Through her scientific observations and work with children she developed meticulously designed apparatus and an environment prepared for meeting the progressive needs of the developing child. This approach is centered on the child and fosters a love of learning. The adult is the link to the environment, encouraging the growth of self initiated study.
What makes Montessori education distinctive?
In the Montessori classroom, learning initially occurs through the use of materials which provide a concrete representation of an abstract concept. Step by step the child is led from the concrete to the abstract. Concepts are known for why they work before the theoretical is expected. The child becomes a self-directed learner, not dependent upon the focus of the adult. The teacher is the guide for the child; showing the way or unlocking the door to the environment, thus enabling the child to reach his/her full potential.
Who is the Montessori Method designed for?
Montessori education is for the very young child aged two-and-a-half, right through to high school. The opportunities for growth in independence and self direction are present for any child. Each child works according to their own rate of readiness. The sensitive periods of development are provided for and each sense is developed and refined, thus the acquisition of information is optimized. All can benefit, but it is the child, where home and school work in unity, who benefits the most.
Why do you have multi-aged groupings in one classroom?
Multi-age or family groupings maintain a social setting normal in life. Children reach developmental stages at varying times so their needs are more readily met. Young children are stimulated and motivated by what they witness others doing. Older children act as role models for younger children and are often able to be teachers for them. This builds confidence and cooperation.
What sort of training has the staff received?
Staff are trained in the Montessori philosophy and use of the didactic materials appropriate to the age level of the children.
What can the parents do to support the school?
Parents should be informed about the Montessori method through reading books. Follow up at home of the expectations for independence and the love of learning as fostered at school are essential. Communication with and trust in the teachers transfers to the children and greatly aids their progress at school.
What happens when a child leaves Montessori?
Children go on to other schools and adapt to the different learning situations. Parents inform us that due to the strong work skills and independent learning ethic which has been developed, their children adapt well and go on as learners for life.