The Montessori Method is an educational approach with a strong philosophical foundation. Main educational elements of this approach include a tremendous respect for self and for others, individualized lesson plans, a true focus on peace education, multi-age classes where children support and learn from one another, as well as the opportunity for exploration and discovery. Montessori programs are designed to aid children in their most important work – to become independent, thoughtful, well-rounded adults.
THE AMERICAN MONTESSORI SOCIETY (AMS) is a non-profit educational society founded in 1960, whose purpose is to help children develop their potential through the educational principles of Dr. Maria Montessori. This includes the following: developing Montessori programs, accrediting schools, granting credentials, encouraging research, organizing seminars and symposia, and promoting all other areas which relate to the dissemination of Montessori philosophy. Our World Montessori is an AMS member school.
Dr. Montessori characterized the 3- to 6-year-old child as possessing an extraordinary capacity, the ability to absorb information from his or her surroundings. Dr. Montessori named this quality “the absorbent mind.” The child from 3 to 6 is a sensorial explorer, soaking up every aspect of the environment, including language and culture. Dr. Montessori recognized the motto of this young child to be “help me to do it myself?” Development during this period focuses on learning to be independent. The corresponding educational environment, then, should support this natural drive, enabling the child to become competent, and therefore confident. The Montessori approach embraces the full development of the youngster, addressing all aspects (physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual) of the whole child.
Impact of Montessori Education on the Child
Children who have been educated using the Montessori method grow into competent learners who know how to learn and love learning. This solid foundation begun early in life creates self- confident, contributing adults. In Education for a New World, Dr. Montessori states: “…they will be witnesses of the unfolding of the human soul and to the raising of a New Man who will not be the victim of events, but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society.”
Learn more about Dr. Montessori and her methods on the American Montessori Society web site.