To aid life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the basic task of the educator. (Maria Montessori)
The Montessori program provides an interdisciplinary, discovery-based approach to learning. The program is based on a philosophy of learning that grows from the belief that children are natural learners, and that learning occurs best in a nurturing, prepared environment that promotes spontaneous cooperative inquiry. The teaching method that grew from this philosophy fosters a sense of security, self confidence and independence in children, enabling them to develop into people who respect and care for themselves, others, the environment and all life. Montessori teachers address physical, emotional, social, spiritual, aesthetic, and cognitive needs as they guide their students to develop inner discipline, coordination, concentration, a sense of order, and independence.
- A multi-age grouping in each classroom provides a family-like setting where learning can take place naturally and cooperatively
- The Montessori classroom is a working community of children and adults with constant problem solving, child-to-child teaching, and socialization.
- The Montessori method is based on scientific observation. Much of student assessment is through teacher observations.
- The Montessori method refers to the interaction of children, Montessori teaching materials, and Montessori teachers.
- The Montessori philosophy values all kinds of intelligences and styles of learning. Subjects are interwoven, not taught in isolation, and children are free to work and develop at their own pace with materials they have chosen, either alone or with others.
- Children in a Montessori environment are able to learn in many different ways: individual lessons with the teacher, small group lessons with the teacher, large group lessons with the teacher, a lesson from another child and most importantly from being able to observe other children of various ages working.
- The aim of the method is to assist children in developing habits of concentration, initiative, persistence, and joy in learning so that they can reach full potential in all areas of life and become life-long learners.
- The guiding principle is freedom within limits.