The Montessori method of teaching young children is based on the work of Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator (1870-1953). In 1907, she opened the first Montessori School, or Children’s House, in Rome where she implemented her philosophy that children learn naturally. Her work had a world-wide influence on teaching techniques that continue to inspire educators across the globe today. There are now more than 22,000 Montessori schools in at least 110 countries worldwide. For more information on the life of Dr. Montessori, visit http://amshq.org/Montessori-Education/History-of-Montessori-Education/Biography-of-Maria-Montessori.
A Montessori school provides a secure, orderly, stimulating environment based on the basic concepts discovered by Dr. Montessori. A Montessori school approaches each of its children with love and respect. Dr. Montessori believed that no human being is educated by another person; he must do it himself or it will never be done. A truly educated individual continues learning long after the hours and years he spends in the classroom because he is motivated from within by a natural curiosity and love for knowledge. Dr. Montessori felt, therefore, that the goal of the early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate his own natural desire to learn.
In the Montessori classroom this objective is approached in two ways. First, the child is allowed to experience the excitement of learning by his own choice rather than by being forced. Second, the teacher helps the child to perfect all his natural tools for learning so that his ability will be at a maximum in future situations. The Montessori materials have this dual long-range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child.
The child can only develop by experience in his environment. We call such experience work.
-Dr. Maria Montessori