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the montessori method the montessori method

Lotus Child Montessori

Maria Montessori was a true Renaissance woman of her time. She was the first woman to finish medical school in Italy and become a practicing physician. To aid her work with developmentally delayed children she began studying the work of other psychologists and observing children in both controlled and natural settings. This interest in the developing child began the rest of her life’s work observing and understanding the true nature of the child. Montessori opened her first experimental children’s house with normal children in 1907 and began offering children experiences much different than what was normal at the time. Through careful observation of the children’s reactions and interactions with the materials, the environment, with the other children and adults the Montessori method was born.

Unbeknown to many, Dr. Montessori was the first to create child-size tables and chairs, shelving and developmentally appropriate materials that are seen in childcare centers, preschools and Kindergarten classrooms all over the world today.

The Montessori method is based on respect of the child; this is seen in all aspects of the prepared environment. Respect for the child’s sense of order is seen in the neat and orderly shelves, respect for the child’s size is seen in the chairs and tables that children can comfortably sit in and work. Respect for the child’s developing intelligence is seen in choice of activity in all areas of development including, language, the mathematical mind, the development of the senses, the natural world including botany and zoology, geography and other sciences. Respect for the child’s desire for independence is seen in the carefully prepared practical life area where children can practice caring for themselves and caring for the environment. This is often the most popular area of a Montessori classroom especially for children 2 through 4 years old because activities are prepared for the children to learn to help themselves. Respect for the child’s developing will and desire to please others is seen in the presentation of peace education activities and social grace and courtesy lessons.

People often ask what is the difference between a Montessori school and other more traditional pre-schools. The Montessori method was designed to educate the whole child. No aspect of development is more important than others; Montessori teachers follow the lead of child and are careful observers of a child’s sensitive periods, thus guiding them to nurture a certain aspect of development when they are most ready.

There are countless books, articles and descriptions of the Montessori method so of course it is impossible to explain it fully in a brief overview. The best way to get a true sense of the amazing method is to see it in action. As an educator of children for over ten years and a Montessori teacher trainer, helping people understand the true essence of Montessori education is something I enjoy very much. Please feel free to contact me to learn more about our school and/or the Montessori method.


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