What is Montessori?
Born in 1870, Maria Montessori was ahead of her time. The first woman in Italy to become a doctor, Maria Montessori studied first the body and then the mind. Through her medical observations she began to analyze how children learn. She observed that there is a natural drive within a child to make his or her own place Montessori schools today are built upon concepts she discovered by observing children at work:
Montessori recognized that at a young age, sensorial work is vital for learning (sensorial comes from the words sense or senses, such as touch or smell). Through work with materials that are tactile and experiential, the child is given the key to exploring the world around her and classifying her surroundings. These are the first steps in organizing her intelligence.
All of the materials used in a “prepared environment” are aesthetically pleasing, made of natural materials such as glass and wood. This creates a tranquil and homelike atmosphere that Montessori called the Casa di Bambini (Children’s House). He will feel a sense of peace while he works, which is the best frame of mind for effective learning for take hold. This also fosters a sense of community and ownership of the classroom, thereby learning to respect his environment. By interacting with his environment daily, he begins to see it as something very special, a world of possibilities and a source for new things to discover.
The teacher is positioned among the students and spends his or her time observing them and therefore becoming sensitive to their individual personalities, skill levels, emotional nature and learning styles. Students choose their work for the day, under the watchful eye and gentle guidance of the teacher. This allows every student to work at his or her own pace, pursuing and uncovering knowledge as excited, engaged scientists in exploration of the world around them.
The work done by the child is for the child, not the parent. In a Montessori environment, children are motivated to work by their own internal drive. When they bring home work, they present it because they are proud of what they have done, not because they believe it has been expected of them. This fosters their intrinsic motivation rather than working simply rewards. in the world. Out of her desire to help and understand children, she created the first “Children’s House.”
Today, the Children’s House refers to the Montessori 3 to 6 year old classroom. The Montessori classroom is prepared with love and an attention to detail that nourishes the physical and spiritual needs of the young child.