The Montessori philosophy of education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori after extensive scientific research, observation and practice. Since the opening of the first Casa del Bambini or Children’s House in Rome in 1907, thousands of schools around the world continue to follow this trusted and timeless method of education.
At its heart, the Montessori method depends on three crucial points, like a triangle, and the relationship between each: the child, the environment, and the teacher.
“It is the child who makes the man, and no man exists who was not made by the child he once was.”
– Maria Montessori
The Montessori classroom is child-centered, following each child’s unique path of interests, personality, and learning style. Children benefit from one-on-one learning and are free to develop at their own pace. A Montessori classroom nurtures the whole child – mind, body and spirit – and focuses on respecting the child in all aspects of care and education. Maria Montessori understood that the young child – ages 3, 4 and 5 – is absorbing the world around him/her and creating the adult he/she will grow to become.
A Montessori classroom, also known as the prepared environment, is a place where a child can grow and develop naturally. The prepared environment, built of furniture appropriately sized and didactic materials accessible and useful to children, is a beautiful space, inviting and comforting to the child. It consists of a community of children working together, a feeling of love, peace and joy, and ultimately, is a space which provides the best conditions for development.
The Montessori teacher, trained and certified in the Montessori method, serves as the link between the child and the environment. Through quiet observation and careful presentation of lessons, she connects the child to the work on the shelves, guiding the growth and development of each student individually. Montessori often compares the teacher to the sun whose light awakens the interest of the child: “This is our mission: to cast a ray of light and pass on … This then is the first duty of an educator: to stir up life but leave it free to develop.”