(1870 – 1952) Dr. Maria Montessori was a woman ahead of her time. She devoted her life to the advancement of education for children of all ages.
She believed that the typical teaching method of a teacher lecturing a student was not a conducive learning environment. Many students were failing in traditional schools. It was from this dissatisfaction and disbelief that Maria Montessori began her studies in child development and that Montessori education was first born.
Since the early 1900s, Montessori schools have provided a unique learning environment tailored to students of all capabilities. Teachers are not considered the centre of learning. Rather, it is the student that is the master of their learning. It is simply up to the teacher to guide them in exposing their true potential with challenging presentations that are to be completed in a uninterrupted learning environment.
Dr. Montessori formulated a method of education that considers the child’s unique sensitive periods for learning.
If you have ever encountered a young child repeating sounds or practicing putting on a sock over and over again, you will recognize this deep need to learn. These periods of intense fascination begin at birth and continue through adolescence. Once a skill is mastered, the interest, fascination, and ease of learning is diminished. Montessori schools observe these special times, and provide the children with the tools they need to learn.
A specially prepared Montessori environment allows the child to explore different interests and to reinforce various needs through the careful direction of a trained adult. Self-correcting Montessori learning materials allow the child to explore and learn key concepts which build their language, sensorial knowledge, mathematical skills, practical life, and cultural understandings of the world around them. The child is given the time to learn and practice skills at their own pace, along with the freedom to choose their activities when they are uniquely ready.