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  What Is Montessori?                

The Montessori Movement

  The Montessori movement is not a narrow method of teaching but a broad philosophy of life that rests in faith in each child as a potential new beginning for humanity and the creator of the adult he will become. Every child possesses an inner force that drives him to grow and learn and that can be observed in his spontaneous activities. We respect his natural inquisitiveness, which makes learning an imperative, as much a basic need to the child as food, shelter, and love. We appreciate his relentless exploration through his senses and movements, which make his environment his natural school. It is our purpose to observe the child's natural interest and activities and provide an environment in which he can develop and learn.

  Dr. Maria Montessori believed that self-motivation is the only valid impulse for learning. Within the carefully structured order of the Montessori classroom, the child is free to choose his own projects throughout the day. Following his own inner direction, he discovers his own pattern of learning and finds satisfaction in work. It is the child who takes the active part in the Montessori classroom, not the guide. The child plays the active role in his self-development rather than being trained by an adult. The children are encouraged to work out their own social problems and reach their own moral conclusions. Responsibility toward the group and the other children individually is emphasized. Adult authority acts as a background for free development. When the child is encouraged to develop understanding, compassion, and respect, he is able to cultivate his own self-discipline.