About Montessori

The Montessori Philosophy

Montessori is an individualized approach to education for children from toddler through high school that helps each child reach full potential in all areas of life. It is a student-centered approach that encourages creativity and curiosity and leads children to ask questions, explore, investigate and think for themselves as they acquire skills.

What is Montessori?

Montessori is a system of education that is based in the philosophy of child growth and the rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on each child’s developmental needs for freedom within limits and takes place within a carefully prepared environment. The prepared environment guarantees exposure to materials and experiences that develop intelligence, as well as physical and psychological abilities. The system is designed to nurture and develop the unique ability of young children to develop their own capabilities and to self-motivate. Children need adults to expose them to the possibilities of their lives, but the children themselves must direct their responses to those possibilities.

Comparing the Classrooms

Traditional Classroom Montessori Environment
Textbooks, pencil and paper, worksheets Prepared kinesthetic materials with incorporated control of error, specially developed reference materials
Working and learning without emphasis on social development Working and learning matched to the social development of the child
Narrow, unit-driven curriculum Unified, internationally developed curriculum
Individual subjects Integrated subjects and learning based on developmental psychology
Block time, period lessons Uninterrupted work cycles
Single-graded classrooms Multi-age classrooms
Students passive, quiet, in desks Students active, talking, with periods of spontaneous quiet, freedom to move
Students fit mold of school School meets needs of students
Students leave for special help Special help comes to students
Product-focused report cards Process-focused assessments, skills checklists, mastery benchmarks

Montessori education is grounded in the following principles:

  1. Children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who differ from each other.
  2. Children possess unusual sensitivity to and mental powers for absorbing and learning from their environment.
  3. The most important years of growth are the first six years of life, when unconscious learning is gradually brought to conscious level.
  4. Children have a deep love and need for purposeful work. The child works for the sake of the activity itself and it is this activity that accomplishes the most important goal for the child: the development of his or her mental, physical and psychological powers.

The Montessori curriculum varies by program but the following goals are consistent throughout our school:

  • To encourage the self-motivation and self-discipline that will lead to a life-long pursuit of knowledge.
  • To lead children to mastery of precisely identified intellectual, social, and physical skills.
  • To enter into a partnership with parents in the education of their children.
  • To help children develop a positive self-image as the key to the development of their full potential.
  • To foster open minds, compassion, and respect for others.
  • To balance self-reliance, independence, and freedom with the skills of working cooperatively.
  • To instill in each child a sense of duty and personal responsibility for the world in which we live.
  • To spark our children’s imagination, wonder, humor, and joy…

What Makes Montessori Education Unique

  1. The “Whole Child” Approach: The primary goal of a Montessori program is to help each child reach full potential in all areas of life. Activities promote the development of social skills, emotional growth, and physical coordination as well as cognitive preparation. The holistic curriculum, under the direction of a specially prepared teacher, allows the child to experience the joy of learning, ensures the development of self-esteem, and provides the experiences from which children create their knowledge.
  2. The “Prepared Environment”: In order for self-directed learning to take place, the whole learning environment-room, materials and social climate-must be supportive of the learner. The teacher provides necessary resources, including opportunities for children to function in a safe and positive climate. The teacher thus gains the children’s trust, which enables them to try new things and build self-confidence.
  3. The Montessori Materials: Dr. Montessori’s designed a number of multi-sensory, sequential and self-correcting materials based on her observations of the activities that the children enjoyed the most. These materials facilitate the learning of practical skills and abstract concepts.
  4. The Teacher: Originally called a “Directress”, the Montessori teacher functions as designer of the environment, resource person, role model, demonstrator, record-keeper and meticulous observer of each child’s behaviour and growth.

Our Goals

The Montessori curriculum varies by program but the following goals are consistent throughout our school:

  • To encourage the self-motivation and self-discipline that will lead to a life-long pursuit of knowledge.
  • To lead children to mastery of precisely identified intellectual, social, and physical skills.
  • To enter into a partnership with parents in the education of their children.
  • To help children develop a positive self-image as the key to the development of their full potential.
  • To foster open minds, compassion, and respect for others.
  • To balance self-reliance, independence, and freedom with the skills of working cooperatively.
  • To instill in each child a sense of duty and personal responsibility for the world in which we live.
  • To spark our children’s imagination, wonder, humor, and joy…