The Montessori method of education is a program based on Dr. Maria Montessori's philosophy that children develop to their fullest potential when allowed to follow their internal instincts. Our role as educators, is to foster this development by presenting materials in a prepared environment that allow for exploration and discovery.
We believe this to be an "Education for Life."
The Montessori Primary Classroom, often referred to as the "casa", is a living room for children aged 3 to 6. Children choose their work from a variety of subjects ranging from Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, Geography, Botany and Zoology. As children progress through the three year cycle, the younger children aspire to emulate the older children in their work and play while the older children become aware of their role as "teachers" themselves. The kindergartners in their third and final year are now in preparation for grade school and beyond.
The Primary Classroom brings together the social, physical and cognitive development of the child during these three years. Our function is to provide children with a foundation that includes a love of learning, a sense of order, respect for the physical environment, a natural curiosity, concentration, decision making and a sense of responsibility to others in the class, school and community.
In a Elementary Classroom, children aged 6 - 12 become conceptual explorers. They develop new powers of abstraction and imagination and apply their knowledge to further discover and expand their world. Elementary children work in small groups on a variety of projects which spark the imagination and engage the intellect. Lessons given by our trained Montessori teachers direct the children toward activities which help them develop reasoning abilities and life skills. The appetite of children at this age to understand the universe and their place in it directs the elementary work toward all aspects of culture.
Elementary studies include geography, biology, history, language, mathematics in all its branches, science, music, and art. Exploration of each area is encouraged through trips outside the classroom to community resources, such as a library, planetarium, botanical garden, or science center. This inclusive approach to education fosters a feeling of connectedness to all humanity and encourages their natural desire to make contributions to the world.
Maria Montessori was the first woman to practice medicine in Italy. A scholar of biology, psychiatry, anthropology, and medicine, she graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rome in 1896. As a physician, Dr. Montessori became profoundly interested in early childhood development. Through careful observation, she realized that children construct their own personalities as they interact with their environment. She also watched and recorded the manner in which they learned as they freely chose and worked with the materials she provided.
She studied children of all races and cultures in many countries around the world. She continued her observations throughout her life, widening and deepening her understanding until her death in 1952. Also a devoted humanitarian, she was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy efforts toward a more peaceful humanity.
Through her studies of educational methods, Dr. Montessori declared two principles as the foundation of Montessori pedagogy: the universal characteristics of the human child, and the child as a unique, unrepeatable, respectable, and admirable individual to be unconditionally accepted as one of life’s most marvelous expressions.
The Montessori Method has since spread to nearly every country throughout the world. The movement reached the United States in 1963. Although it initially spread slowly throughout the U.S., the number of Montessori schools has doubled over the past ten years. Currently, there are 1,377 accredited Montessori schools nationwide educating over 85,000 students annually. The Montessori approach has also been implemented as a magnet program in nearly 250 public schools to date.