Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, developed a child-centered approach to educationw which is now knwo internationally as Montessori. For children and adolescents, the Montessori Method fosters rigorous, self-motivated growth in all areas of their development; cognitive, emotional, social, and physical. It is child-driven and self-paced, but guided, assessed, and enriched by knowledgeable and nurturing teachers, the leadership of their peers, and a prepared environment. The Montessori classroom is multi-age, where children embrace multi-sensory learning and passionate inquiry. With the freedom to question, probe deeply, and make connections, Montessori students become confident, enthusiastic, and self-directed learners and citizens, accountable to themselves and to their community. Montessori children graduate knowing how to think critically, collaborate, and act boldly and with integrity.
There are four consecutive planes, or stages, of development from birth to maturity, each spanning about six years. Children and young people display intellectual abilities, social orientations, and creative potential unique to their stage of development. Children in each plane learn differently, building on the achievements of the one before and preparing for the one to come. Every individual experiences transitions between planes at a different time and in a different way.
Children learn differently than adults during the first six years of their lives. Children have sponge-like brains at this age; this is referred to as the absorbent mind because they are able to soak up vast amounts of information from their environment. It is now effortless and indiscriminate for the children to grow and learn. The child's relationship with his environment differs from ours... He absorbs it.
In Montessori, Cosmic Education refers to the process of developing global awareness in children. In developing gratitude for the universe and their own lives within it, children become aware of receiving many gifts from people they will never meet. A teacher's role is to provide areas of interest to children rather than to set up a program for them to follow. Teachers guide children through lessons based on their centers of interest, and we should trust the power of the mind to work all by itself. It is in the plan of the universe that we have faith in the child to let him go, then maintain the flame of interest so he can continue to explore. Children 6-12 years old's insatiable thirst for knowledge is met by Cosmic Education. Children need to be constantly opened to new fields of exploration by their Directors and Directresses.
A Montessori-inspired concept is the prepared environment, which encourages the child to increase his or her independence and explore for as long as possible. An active prepared environment is filled with a variety of activities and a significant amount of movement. Teachers prepare and communicate the Montessori environment to children. They are also responsible for maintaining order and atmosphere in the Montessori environments. By providing developmentally appropriate sensory materials, a prepared environment enables every child to develop their unique potential. Children of all ages and abilities can learn through a selection of simple to complex materials.
A Montessori-inspired concept is a prepared environment, which encourages the child to increase his or her independence and explore for as long as possible. An active prepared environment is filled with a variety of activities and a significant amount of movement. Teachers prepare and communicate the M Montessori teachers place enormous faith in the development abilities of the children, which is one of the most noteworthy differences between them and traditional teachers. The act of "following the child" takes a lot of faith. The children will have no trouble following me if they follow where I lead. In spite of this, Montessori teachers remain constantly alert to what each child is doing and actively work to help them succeed with careful observation and planning. Less attention is paid to Montessori teachers in the classroom. The Montessori materials are prepared and organized so children's needs and interests can be met. Instead of focusing on teachers teaching, the focus is on children learning.