Montessori Education Week

Montessori Education Week

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” – Maria Montessori

 

It’s Montessori Education Week!

This is a time where we celebrate the incredible contributions Dr. Maria Montessori has made in the lives of children and the benefits of the Montessori Method of Education around the world.

 

Now is the perfect time to explore the Montessori Method…

 

Who was Maria Montessori?

 

  • Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian physician, educator, and innovator, acclaimed for her educational method that builds on the way children naturally learn.
  • Grew up in Rome, a paradise of libraries, museums, and fine schools.
  • A well-schooled and an avid reader—unusual for Italian women of that time.
  • Confident, ambitious, and unwilling to be limited by traditional expectations for women.
  • At age 13 entered an all-boys technical institute to prepare for a career in engineering.
  • Became a doctor, graduating from medical school in 1896 as one of  Italy’s first female physicians.
  • Early medical practice focused on psychiatry. She also developed an interest in education and immersed herself in educational theory.
  • Opened a childcare center in 1907 in a poor inner-city district. This became the first Casa dei Bambini, a quality learning environment for young children.
  • Designed learning materials and a classroom environment that fostered the children’s natural desire to learn. News of the school’s success soon spread through Italy and by 1910 Montessori schools were acclaimed worldwide.

 

What is the Montessori Method?

 

Celebrating more than 100 years of teaching and the nurturing young ones, Montessori methods are different from traditional daycare teaching methods because the individual child, not the teacher, is the focus. Whereas traditional teaching is instructor-focused, with a curriculum that is structured for the whole class, with same-age grouping and a social development focus, Montessori learning is based on:

 

  • Cognitive, emotional and moral development, as well as social
  • Inner discipline
  • Individual instruction and self-pace
  • Mixed age grouping
  • Peer teaching and modeling
  • Multi-sensory learning materials for physical exploration
  • Purposeful movement as an aid to learning

 

Montessori education is devoted to helping each child achieve his or her potential and develop a lifelong love of learning. An attractive and orderly prepared environment, unique learning materials, and special way of viewing and teaching the child are essential parts of Montessori education.

 

Peace education is also an important part of Montessori education. Maria Montessori believed education was the most powerful and universal way through which to reconstruct society; a way to transition from war to peace.

 

What are the main Montessori principles?

 

  • Follow the child
  • Respect and encourage the child
  • Give freedom of movement
  • Encourage independence and decision-making
  • Provide as many opportunities for hands-on learning as possible
  • Emphasize practical life and sensorial activities during the preschool years
  • Prepare and maintain an orderly and attractive environment
  • Provide child-size materials and real child-size tools. Low shelves with materials on trays and child-size tables and chairs are important features of Montessori early-childhood education.
  • Don’t interrupt a child’s work cycle. Allow children to choose their activities and work uninterrupted to develop an ever-increasing ability to concentrate.
  • Demonstrate how to do activities
  • Isolate the difficulty in an activity whenever possible. For  example, when introducing colors, have materials that vary in color, but not shape or size
  • Respect and encourage a child’s absorbent mind and sensitive periods

 

What are some of the benefits of a Montessori Education?

 

  • A nurturing, caring community
  • Each Child is valued as a unique individual
  • Collaborative, cooperative learning and problem solving
  • Respect for the child’s Absorbent Mind and Sensitive Period
  • The purposefully prepared environment that supports each student in becoming an active seeker of knowledge
  • Confidence building through custom, hands-on learning.
  • Independence
  • Self-paced learning, awakening a child’s spirit, imagination, and passions.
  • Learning cooperation and community with multi-age classrooms.
  • Your child will develop a lifelong love of learning.

 

What are some of the most notable contributions that Dr. Montessori had on education?

 

  • Her insistence of respecting the child as an individual. In a time when children were to be “seen and not heard,” Dr. Montessori was vehemently outspoken about the rights of children.
  • Didactic materials. She understood the importance of the hand-brain connection and developed pedagogical materials to stimulate the senses and provide the brain with a concrete understanding of abstract concepts.
  • She developed child-size furniture to address the physical needs of children.
  • She gave us observation, experimentation and other scientific methods in education.
  • Emphasis on Individual Teaching
  • Love and Respect for Small Children

 

Come take a tour of Eden Prairie Montessori to see for yourself what a Montessori Education looks like! We invite you to visit one of our two beautiful locations….

 

Contact us to schedule a tour and learn more about the Montessori difference!

To learn more about our child care center in Eden Prairie and programs, contact us at 952-777-3606. We look forward to meeting you!

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