Key Philosophical Messages that makes Montessori Unique:
- Deep respect for children as individuals.
- The multiage classes (which spans over three years) allows the Directress and the children to develop a close and long-term relationship. Older students are encouraged to become role models, and mentors for the younger students. In turn they are developing leadership and nurturing skills. The younger students truly look up to their older classmates and this gives them the incentive to behave and strive to achieve more challenging work.
- The integrated curriculum is carefully structured through the use and repetition of concrete materials which lays the foundation for later abstract concepts.
- Independence is nurtured and leads to children becoming purposeful, motivated, and confident in their own abilities.
- Grace and Courtesy, Peace and Conflict Resolution are guided daily and children learn to be a part of a warm, respectful, and supportive community.
- The child creates, in a very real sense, the adult that is to be, through his/her experiences, interactions, and environments.
- Hands-on learning is central to the curriculum in all programs and leads to children being engaged rather than passive with their work.
- The environments are responsibly and carefully prepared with multisensory, sequential, and self-correcting materials to support self-directed learning.
- School faculty, children and parents work together as a warm and supportive community.
- Self-expression is nurtured in all children. Children experience art, music, poetry, writing, and other forms of creative arts with confidence and passion.
Some Important Aspects of the Montessori Method
- It is based on years of patient observation and study of children by Dr. Maria Montessori, who was a scientist uniquely educated and qualified for this task. She was a surgeon, a student of psychology, and a professor of anthropology, a science that is concerned with man in a unique way. She developed her methodology by letting the children show her what worked and what did not work. It is not a “franchise” or “patented” operation. It is in the public domain.
- Currently, Montessori is the largest growing pedagogy in the world. Within less than 100 years, Montessori schools span 6 continents.
- It has revealed the small child as a lover of order and of intellectual work, spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy, capable of concentration and eager to learn for the joy of learning.
- It is based upon the child’s imperious need to learn by doing activities, which develop his faculties at each stage in his mental growth. These stages are called “sensitive periods,” and he more readily absorbs knowledge during those periods. While the method offers the child a maximum of spontaneity, it enables him to reach an even higher level of scholastic attainment than under other systems.
- Though it does away with the necessity of coercion by means of rewards and punishments, it achieves a higher discipline. It is an active discipline, which originates within the child and is achieved through concentration on work, which he has chosen. Children with extremely active and curious minds are stimulated and utilize their intellectual energies constructively.
- It is based on a profound respect for the child’s personality and removes from him the preponderate influence of the adult, thus leaving him room to grow in biological independence. The child is allowed a large measure of freedom, within limits.
- It enables the Directress to interact with each child individually in each subject and thus guide him according to his individual needs. Each child works at his own pace.
- It does away with pressure and its trail of challenges. More than this, at every turn it presents endless opportunities among the children for mutual help, which is joyfully given and gratefully received.
- The Montessori method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely his intellectual faculties but also his powers of deliberation, initiative, and independent choice, with their emotional complements. By living as a free member in a real social community, the child is trained in those fundamental social qualities, which form the basis of good citizenship.
Uninterrupted Work Period:
As per the American Montessori Society we are to uphold and to respect the “Three Hour Work Cycle”, the standard of providing an uninterrupted work time.
The purpose of long, uninterrupted blocks of work time is to allow students to freely select work, eventually becoming absorbed in work that has a particular fascination for them at this point in their development. Interruptions disturb the development of the child’s focus, concentration, and opportunity to deeply delve into work. During this uninterrupted work time, Directress’s also have the opportunity to present lessons to the children, ensuring that lessons are given and work is explored in all areas of the classroom.