Maria Montessori's Philosophy
The Montessori Method
Montessori is a philosophy and method of education which emphasizes the potential of the very young child, and which develops his potential by utilizing specially trained teachers and special teaching materials. Montessori education recognizes in the child a natural curiosity and desire to learn, while Montessori materials help the child to understand what he learns, by associating an abstract concept with a concrete sensorial experience. In this manner, Montessori is actually learning and not just memorizing.
The Montessori Method stresses that children learn and progress at their own pace. Fast learners are not held back, and slow learners are not frustrated by their inability to keep up.
The Montessori Preschool
A child is most vitally susceptible to influence during the ages of 2 to 7 years. Montessori is based on decades of patient observation of the child's nature. Dr. Maria Montessori's system believes that children are essentially serious-minded, and educate themselves if only permitted to do so. Instinctively, orderly and easily acquiring self-discipline, they have remarkable powers of mental concentration, which only require release. Naughtiness in a child is the expression of some other inner disturbance.
The Montessori program is designed to meet the child's inherent need for regularity of routine, consistency of treatment, and frequent change of activity. As the child's interests unfold to expand, Montessori allows the children freedom to select individual activities the correspond to his own periods of interest and readiness to progress at his own pace. A child who acquires the basic skills of reading and arithmetic in this natural way has the advantage of beginning his education without drudgery, boredom, or discouragement.