“To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control is to betray the idea of freedom.”
A Montessori Education assists the child in becoming a whole integrated human being by the time he/she reaches adulthood. It is not about intellectual, academic excellence though that may occur. It is about nurturing children who will then become caring members of planet earth, our collective home. We believe that our responsibility to our students is to provide them with the necessary tools and environment to experience and discover the joy of learning.
Dr. Montessori taught that “no human being is educated by anyone else–the learner must do his own learning, inspired from within.”
The Montessori Method is not for the exceptional child but for all children. The prepared environment for learning meets the physiological and spiritual aspect of learning discovered by Dr. Montessori’s scientific investigations. All children, especially very young children, have a love of work and need to succeed at what they put their hands to. They need and desire order and they learn through their senses. Children can develop self-discipline, as well as a strong foundation in language and math skills.
Montessorians believe that children need freedom within the guidelines established for them in a properly prepared environment. We believe that there should not be pressure placed on the young child to perform and achieve. It is the process, not the product that is important for young children.
Our philosophy is simply stated by this old Chinese proverb:
When I hear, I forget.
When I see, I remember.
When I do, I learn.
In accordance with Dr. Montessori’s philosophy, scientific studies, and observations, we believe the first six years of life to be the foundation upon which the life of each human being constructs themselves. During this important time of life a child’s powers of observation, his/her ability to absorb and retain, explore and discover, present as sensitive periods. A sensitive period allows effortless growth in an area which at another time would require massive effort. During these absorbent periods a thing will captivate the mind and heart of the young child. They will become totally engrossed in acquiring the skill or information which has captivated them. When this sensitive period passes, so does the ease with which the child learns and the intensity of interest.
Maria Montessori was the originator of the “prepared environment”. She believed that the environment is stronger than will, which is why the environment must be carefully prepared and ordered. This prepared environment allows optimal learning on all levels of social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and spiritual development.
The role of the Montessori Guide or Directress is to prepare the environment, and monitor and guide each child toward individual exploration, critical thinking skills, independence of thought, self-discipline, self-acceptance, acceptance of others, and the development of conflict resolution skills.
Our philosophy embraces the understanding that when children are given the gift of time in a properly prepared environment, they will develop the necessary skills to be a thoughtful, functioning member of society; one who is able to express joy in work as well as play.
“To give a child liberty is not to abandon him to himself.”