About Montessori Education
"Our aim is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core." Maria Montessori
Born in Chiaravalle in the Province of Ancona in 1870, Maria Montessori was the first woman to practise medicine in Italy, having graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rome in 1896. As a physician, Dr. Montessori was in touch with young children and became profoundly interested in their development. Through careful and exhaustive scrutiny, she realised 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 didactic materials she provided.
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.
Dr. Maria Montessori recognized that the most important requirement for learning is the self-motivation of the child.? Children move themselves toward learning.? The teacher prepares the environment, structures the activities, functions as the reference person and role model, and offers the children stimulation; but the children are the ones who learn, who are motivated through the work itself (not solely by the teacher?s personality) to persist in their chosen tasks. If Montessori children are free to learn, it is because they have acquired an inner discipline from their exposure to both physical and mental order, this is the core of Dr. Montessori's educational philosophy. Social adjustment, though it is a necessary adjustment for learning in a schoolroom, is not the purpose of education. Patterns of concentration, persistence, and the thoroughness established in early childhood produce a confident learner in later years.? Schools have existed historically to teach children to observe, to think, to judge. Montessori adds to that the joy of learning at an early age and provides the framework in which intellectual and social discipline go hand in hand.
Children who have had the benefit of a Montessori environment are freer at a later age to devote themselves more exclusively to the development of their intellectual facilities. The method by which children are taught in the Montessori school involves the use of many materials with which the children may work individually. At every step of their learning, the teaching materials are designed to test their understanding and to correct their errors.
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