What is the Montessori Method?
- A philosophy and method of education that emphasizes the potential of the young child.
- Recognizes in the child a natural curiosity and desire to learn.
- Montessori materials develop this desire to learn and channel curiosity into an enjoyable learning experience.
- Helps the child to understand what is learned by associating a concrete sensorial concept with an abstract concept thereby learning, not just memorizing.
- A child learns and progresses at his/her own pace.
Who Was Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori lived from 1870 to 1952. She was the first woman to attend medical school and the first female Doctor of medicine in Italy. Through her work with handicapped and socially deprived children, she developed her unique educational method, known as the Montessori method. As a result of her further study, observation and experimentation, she found the principles of her method to be applicable to all children. She has had an impact on the field of education in general and the way we understand and teach children today.
Montessori's influence can be seen not only in the number of schools that bear her name, but throughout the fields of child care, education, and child development. Many of her ideas are now part of our common knowledge, language, and thinking about children...absorbing minds, developmental stages, graded stacking cubes or cylinders, etc. She was an innovator in the field of education and ideas that were once met with great resistance in her day now seem natural as accepted aspects of childhood.
The Whole Child Approach
The primary goal of a Montessori program is to help each child reach their full potential in all areas of life. Development of social, physical, cognitive, and emotional growth allows the child to prepare for future intellectual tasks. This allows the child to experience learning as enjoyment and promotes self-esteem. These experiences allow the child to create knowledge.
The Prepared Environment
The environment is supportive of the child. With the arrangement of the classroom, materials and atmosphere, self directed learning takes place. The teacher provides opportunities and resources for the children to function in a safe environment. Together they form trust and respect in order to foster self confidence and in turn a willingness to try new things.
The Montessori Material
The materials are self-correcting and designed for multi-sensory and sequential learning.
The role of a Montessori Teacher is one of "guide and observer". The Oak Forest Montessori School teachers are the foundation of our school. Our teachers are dedicated to the Montessori philosophy. Each "guide" creates an atmosphere of order, joy and discovery for the child. They are accomplished observers who gently guide the child with purpose and patience in order to fulfill the potential of each child socially, emotionally, physically, morally, spiritually, and intellectually.