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Dr. Maria Montessori

Montessori is a method of education based in the theories of Dr. Maria Montessori, the first Italian woman physician, who practiced in the late 19th and early 20th century.

In Rome, Dr. Montessori began her scientific investigation and observation of children research, which formed the foundation of her educational theory. She observed that children possess an innate desire to explore, discover and learn about their world.
The basic idea in the Montessori Philosophy of education is that all children carry within themselves the person they will become. In order to develop physical, intellectual and spiritual potential to the fullest, the child must have ‘freedom’; a freedom to be achieved through order and self- discipline.

From a chaotic world of sights and sounds which children enter, they must gradually create order, learn to distinguish among the impressions that assail their senses and slowly but surely gain mastery of themselves and their environment.

Dr. Montessori developed what she called a ‘Prepared Environment’, which already possesses a certain order and allows the child to learn at his/her own spped, according to their own capacities and in a non- competitive atmosphere.

Dr. Montessori recognised that the only valid impulse to learning is the self- motivation of the child. Children move themselves toward learning. The development of concentration begins early and naturally. It is the key to the child’s academic success. Even very young children can spend an enormous amount of time concentrating on an activity when they are not interrupted.

The Montessori Directors prepare the environment, direct the activity and offer the child stimulation but the child is motivated only through work itself to persist in a given task.

A sense of responsibility for oneself and actions is the key to a healthy social adjustment. In the Montessori system, children learn to perceive themselves as having the ability to take charge of them, to take care of their work and studies and to take part in solving their social conflicts. Multi- age grouping in the classroom enhances the growth of this perception.

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.

Learning the Montessori way is not limited to just books or just reading, writing and arithmetic but is multi-faceted. It introduces children to the joy of learning at an early age and provides a framework in which intellectual and social discipline go hand-in-hand.