Dr Maria Montessori
Dr Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator born in 1870 who pioneered a new way of thinking about who children are and how they learn.
Dr. Montessori believed in the worthiness, value and importance of children. She developed a teaching method which did not compare a child to the norms or standards measured by traditional educational systems.
Through observing children, she found children were their own best teachers and they have a natural inner drive to learn and develop. She recognised all children have absorbent minds, taking in everything they are exposed to. Children naturally want to learn and learn through play. All children pass through several stages of development and they all want to be independent.
Based on her observations Maria Montessori developed an approach to education that took to heart the needs, talents, gifts, and special individuality of each child. The Montessori Method respects the unique individuality of each child and helps children learn in their own way at their own pace.
The Montessori Method
The Montessori Method is a hands on approach to learning. It encourages children to develop their observation skills by doing many types of activities. These activities include:
- use of the 5 senses
- kinetic movement
- spatial refinement
- small and large motor skill coordination
- concrete knowledge that leads to later abstraction
The main goal of the Montessori method is to provide a stimulating, child oriented environment where children can explore, touch and learn without fear. The end aim is to encourage life long learning, instil a joy of learning, and inner happiness about one’s path and purpose in life.