The Purpose of Montessori Education
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that no human being is educated by another person. The child must do it himself or it will never be done. Children are motivated from within by a natural curiosity and love of knowledge. Dr. Montessori felt, therefore, that the goal of 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.
The “Prepared Environment”
Our Montessori classroom is set up with many attractive “activities” which allow the child to experience the excitement of learning by his own choice. The child teaches himself by using various activities that are “self-correcting”. By working with materials that have a “control of error”, the child builds self-esteem from within by completing a job successfully.
The materials are divided into groups: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, and Geography. We also enjoy a wonderful music program and offer science and nature studies and many art activities.
The teachers demonstrate the correct use of the materials as they are chosen by the child. She carefully observes the progress of each child and is trained to recognize periods of readiness into new areas. Because the children work individually or in small groups, there is a non-competitive atmosphere so the child is not compared to others. This allows the children to work at their own pace.
Dr. Montessori believed that the learning process should occur naturally and joyfully at the proper moment for each individual child. “It is true, we cannot make a genius;” Dr. Montessori once wrote, “we can only give each individual the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities to become an independent, secure, and balanced human being.”