The Montessori Method
The Montessori Method is designed to support children with their task of inner construction as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. The inherent flexibility allows the method to adapt to the needs of the individual, regardless of the level of ability, learning style or social maturity.
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that through the education of our children the world could be changed.
By observing their development from birth through adolescence, she understood that by providing environments rich with materials appropriate to the stages of development and teachers committed to work in service of the developing child, young people could grow, realize their full potential, and become the adults whose lives, permeated by peace and respect, would create a world better than the one they came into.
“We have to consider education from a new point of view. We must proceed with humility, we must not look at ourselves with the authority of great philosophers, great social reformers who impose reform upon the school, and therefore upon humanity.
It is not we who must judge. We must hold ourselves in humility and observe the child, with a view to discover if he himself can furnish us with a guide, or lead us to the solution of the problem.”-Maria Montessori
Born in Chiaravalle in the Province of Ancona in 1870, Maria Montessori was the first woman to practice medicine in Italy, having graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rome in 1896. As a physician, Dr. Montessori had contact with young children and became profoundly interested in their development. Through careful and exhaustive observation, she realized that children construct their own personalities as they interact with their environment.She also observed the manner in which they learned as they spontaneously chose and worked with the auto materials she provided, materials that she selected based on the children’s natural inclinations.
Her approach to education stemmed from a solid grounding in biology, psychiatry and anthropology. She studied children of all races and cultures in many countries around the world, soon seeing the universality of the laws of human development played out before her. She continued her observations throughout her life, widening and deepening her understanding until her death in 1952.