Maria Montessori

The Montessori Method was named for its creator, Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952).  She began studying children as a medical doctor and later was able, through observation at her “Casa de Bambini”, to determine that children best develop cognitive skills when immersed in a nurturing environment rich in materials that stimulate their interest. Through these observations, she concluded that:

  1. Children’s minds absorb information at an unprecedented rate from the age of birth to six years.
  2. Children love to interact with people and objects in their environment and enjoy pursuing purposeful independent activity.
  3. Children respond well to a cooperative and nurturing environment.
  4. Children cultivate respect for children and adults when treated respectfully by others.

Montessori, as a method of education, has been in use for over a century on nearly every continent of the world.  This progressive approach to educating even the youngest children is recognized as an excellent environment for instilling a life-long love of learning and a strong foundation for future academics within each Montessori student.  As Montessori stated, “Education is not something which the teacher does…It is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.  It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his (or her) environment.”

If you would like to learn more about her philosophy, we recommend the following books written by Dr. Montessori:

 

  • The Secret of Childhood
  • The Montessori Method
  • The Absorbent Mind
  • The Discovery of the Child

Further Readings:

  • Montessori:  the Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Stoll Lillard
  • A Parent’s guide to the Montessori Classroom by Aline D. Wolf
  • Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work by E.M. Standing
  • Montessori: A Modern Approach by Paula Polk Lillard
 

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