What is Montessori?

Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman physician in Italy, founded Montessori education in 1907. The philosophy underpinning her work is one of respect and care for all children. She based her educational methods on the natural tendencies of children towards exploration, hard work, creativity and communication.

Dr. Montessori emphasized education not just through sight and sound (watching, reading, and listening), but actually based on the five senses. The Montessori uses all five senses to explore these six areas of learning:

    Practical life      Sensorial      Mathematical     Languages and literacy

                   Cultural subjects           Art and creativity

In the Montessori system, there exists a triangle of learning that integrates the child, parent/teacher and the environment. Dr. Montessori observed that children growing in an intellectual, creative, lively, and encouraging environment tend to question and explore new ideas. Therefore, she designed a ‘prepared environment’ in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate apparatuses. These are self-directed to provide the children with purposeful activities perfectly adapted for each stage of their development. The role of the teacher is one of directress who puts the children in touch with their surroundings. 

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