Frequently Asked Questions
Discover answers to common queries. Learn more about our Montessori approach and how we nurture young minds.
Most educators and psychologists today agree that the single most important period in the development of a person’s intelligence occurs between birth and age five. A child’s mind is extremely absorbent and curiosity is at a peak during these early years. When properly nourished and stimulated, the child’s mind forms patterns for learning that serve him/her well throughout his/her life. The Montessori system of preschool education has proven to be one of the most effective and fastest growing methods to guide a child through these critical years.
Children have a sense of the worth and value of what they do. They choose all activities of life, eagerly and spontaneously, and become totally involved. The work process involves attaining skills, refining tastes, developing sensitivities, strengthening concentration, solving problems and achieving new insights.
In a Montessori classroom there is no front or back. There is no teacher’s desk as a focal point. Stimulation for learning comes from the total environment. Dr. Montessori always referred to the teacher as a “Directress”, because her role differs considerably from that of a traditional instructor. She demonstrates the correct use of materials as they are individually chosen by the children. She carefully watches the progress of each child and keeps a detail record of his / her work. Each teacher has been trained to recognize individual periods of readiness.
Montessori education was founded in 1907 by Dr Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician. She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children’s learning processes. Guided by her theory that children teach themselves, Dr Montessori designed a “prepared environment” in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. Now, over one hundred years later, Montessori education is found all over the world, spanning ages from birth to adolescence.
Montessori is based on a profound respect for the child’s personality. The child works on his / her own free choice and is allowed a large measure of independence. This forms the basis of self-discipline. As each child progresses at his / her own pace and successfully completes the self-correcting excercises, he / she developes confidence in his / her ability to understand his / her achievements.
Freedom is a pre requisite condition for learning. A free child is one who has developed his or her potential and prefers to workout problems, yet is capable of asking for and receiving directions when neccessary.
Discipline is the second pre requisite condition for learning. Montessori discipline is an “Inner Discipline” – an inner control which a child developes from his or her own behavior with the help of Montessori materials and in conjunction with his or her home environment. Dr. Montessori noted that many so called undisciplined children were really frustrated by lack of proper stimulation and an inadequate opportunity to achieve. She noted that young children become happier and more self controlled after a period of time in the Montessori class. She experienced challenging tasks which not only absorbed their energies, but resulted in a sense of achievement.