Dr. Maria Montessori, the first Italian female physician, began her first Children’s House in Rome almost a century ago. Since then, Montessori schools have flourished all over the world. Her vision of educating the whole child is an inspiration to all of us who choose to continue her work.
Montessori classrooms were originally named “Children’s Houses” because they were designed to be places where the perspective of the child was paramount. Continuing in this tradition, our classrooms, filled with developmentally appropriate activities, carefully chosen and beautifully prepared, and equipped with child sized furniture, communicate to the children that this is a special place for them.
When Dr. Montessori first designed her teaching materials, the concept of self-correction was very important to her. This self-correcting feature enables each child to develop independence, as well as fosters the child’s ability to progress at the pace that is unique and perfect for her.
An active learning style is nurtured in Montessori classrooms. The children are encouraged to seek answers to their questions, to follow their interests, and to develop to their fullest potential. The curriculum serves to answer each child’s needs, rather than bind each child in a rigid sequence. The children are motivated to learn and to excel, and consequently are empowered by feelings of intrinsic satisfaction and self confidence.
Each classroom is a living community. The children have the opportunity to establish friendships not just amongst their own age groups, but also with children younger and older than themselves. The mixed aged groupings create relationships that are satisfying to all.