The Montessori Method is a student-centered, observation-based approach to education, based on the research, writings, and philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. The first Montessori School was opened in Rome, Italy in 1907, and the legacy of Maria Montessori lives on in Montessori schools around the world.
We, the guides, strive to provide an intentional, loving environment that helps students prepare their body, mind, and spirit. Our work is driven by the following observations:
Human development is not bound by age. At our school, students are grouped by approximate age ranges. We tailor our classroom materials to the observed needs of the child, regardless of their age.
Each person has an inherent motivation to develop themselves.
Each person is unique in personality and interest. Lessons are given in small groups or independently. This allows us the opportunity to prepare and offer each student meaningful work.
Guides (teachers) are trained to observe and follow the student's natural tendencies/motivations. Activities in the classroom are called "work" rather than "toys", as they are purposeful and the work of the child. Materials are child-sized, beautiful, and made of real and breakable materials (glass, wood, metal, etc.). The students take care of their environment (the classroom and gardens), nurture their class pets and community, and explore their senses. Examples of "work" include food preparation, stringing beads (helps with pencil grip and concentration), counting activities, and language games. All work is freely chosen after they've received a lesson on it. Lessons are presented as readiness is observed.
If you would like to learn more about the Montessori method, please visit these websites:
Association Montessori Internationale
American Montessori Society
United Montessori Schools of Indiana
Montessori Guide - Video Gallery