The Montessori Philosophy
A Lively Learning Experience
Each Montessori school is built upon the educational legacy of Dr. Maria Montessori and her influential work, which began nearly one hundred years ago. Since 1907, the year of her first school, children and adults have engaged in an approach to learning that addresses all aspects of growth: cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual. In Montessori schools throughout the world, children develop the habits and skills of lifelong learning. Guided by teachers trained to observe and identify children'’s unique learning capabilities, children learn in educational partnership with their teachers. Because children'’s interests are heard and honored, Montessori students develop confidence and become self-directed. A powerful learning formula emerges as a result of this self-directed, self-initiated orientation to learning. When interested, a child becomes self-motivated. Self-motivation leads to becoming self-disciplined. When self-disciplined, a child engages in a process of mastery learning and fully develops his or her potential. Dr. Maria Montessori called this a '“normal'” approach to education.
We call this The Montessori Way. The Montessori Way refers to: the knowledge of how children naturally learn; a curriculum based on that knowledge designed for the developmental needs of infants, toddlers, three-to six- year-olds, elementary, middle, and secondary students; a method of instruction involving learning how to observe and how to develop learning environments in which teachers challenge each child to extend fully his or her unique style of learning; a profession; a school characterized by calm, orderly, focused, and respectful learning behaviors; and, a person named Maria Montessori.
[Note: This essay is excerpted from The Montessori Way by Tim Seldin and Paul Epstein, copyright 2003 by The Montessori Foundation.]
"The most essential aspect of the Montessori philosophy is the building of community through a multi-age environment, where skills of leadership, collaboration, creativity, empathy, and exploration are cultivated.”
-Peter Piche’, a Montessori middle school teacher
“We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.”