ABOUT MONTESSORI METHOD
The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Dr. Montessori’s Method has been time tested, with over 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world.
It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive.
More infromation can be found at American Montessori Society.
Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori ( August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952) was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy. Her educational method is in use today in some public and private schools throughout the world.
In 1906 Montessori was invited to oversee the care and education of a group of children of working parents in a new apartment building for low-income families in the San Lorenzo district in Rome. Montessori was interested in applying her work and methods to mentally normal children, and she accepted. The name Casa dei Bambini, or Children's House, was suggested to Montessori, and the first Casa opened on January 6, 1907, enrolling 50 or 60 children between the ages of two or three and six or seven.
At first, the classroom was equipped with a teacher's table and blackboard, a stove, small chairs, armchairs, and group tables for the children, and a locked cabinet for the materials that Montessori had developed at the Orthophrenic School. Activities for the children included personal care such as dressing and undressing, care of the environment such as dusting and sweeping, and caring for the garden. The children were also shown the use of the materials Montessori had developed.Montessori herself, occupied with teaching, research, and other professional activities, oversaw and observed the classroom work, but did not teach the children directly. Day-to-day teaching and care were provided, under Montessori's guidance, by the building porter's daughter.
In this first classroom, Montessori observed behaviors in these young children which formed the foundation of her educational method. She noted episodes of deep attention and concentration, multiple repetitions of activity, and a sensitivity to order in the environment. Given free choice of activity, the children showed more interest in practical activities and Montessori's materials than in toys provided for them, and were surprisingly unmotivated by sweets and other rewards. Over time, she saw a spontaneous self-discipline emerge.
Based on her observations, Montessori implemented a number of practices that became hallmarks of her educational philosophy and method. She replaced the heavy furniture with child-sized tables and chairs light enough for the children to move, and placed child-sized materials on low, accessible shelves. She expanded the range of practical activities such as sweeping and personal care to include a wide variety of exercises for care of the environment and the self, including flower arranging, hand washing, gymnastics, care of pets, and cooking. She also included large open air sections in the classroom encouraging children to come and go as they please in the room's different areas and lessons. In her book she outlines a typical winter's day of lessons, starting at 09:00 AM and finishing at 04:00 PM.
She felt by working independently children could reach new levels of autonomy and become self-motivated to reach new levels of understanding. Montessori also came to believe that acknowledging all children as individuals and treating them as such would yield better learning and fulfilled potential in each particular child.She continued to adapt and refine the materials she had developed earlier, altering or removing exercises which were chosen less frequently by the children. Also based on her observations, Montessori experimented with allowing children free choice of the materials, uninterrupted work, and freedom of movement and activity within the limits set by the environment. She began to see independence as the aim of education, and the role of the teacher as an observer and director of children's innate psychological development.
For more information can be found here.
FAMOUS MONTESSORI STUDENTS
JOSHUA BELL – Grammy award-winning violinist and subject of a Pulitzer prize-winning media story
JEFF BEZOS – Amazon founder
DAVID BLAINE – Illusionist & magician
T BERRY BRAZELTON – Pediatrician, child psychiatrist, author and harvard medical school professor emeritus
JULIA CHILD – Celebrity chef & author
GEORGE CLOONEY – Academy award-winning actor, director, producer,humanitarian, United nations messenger of peace
SEAN “P Diddy” COMBS – Grammy award-winning musician, rap recording artist and ceo of bad boy recordsJOHN and JOAN CUSACK – Actor and screenwriter, and Academy award-nominated actress, respectively
ANTHONY DOERR – AuthorPETER DRUCKER – Author, Management consultant, “social ecologist”, awarded the presidential medal of freedom
ERIK ERIKSON – Psychologist & author
DAKOTA FANNING – Actor
ANNE FRANK – Memoirist & author
KATHARINE GRAHAM – Pulitzer prize-winning author and Former owner & editor of the Washington Post
FRIEDENSREICH HUNDERTWASSER – Viennese artist & architect
HELEN HUNT – Academy award-winning actor
HELEN KELLER – Political activist, author, lecturer, awarded the presidential medal of freedom, one of gallup’s most widely admired people of the 20th century
BEYONCE KNOWLES – Singer, songwriter, actress and fashion designer,16-time Grammy award-winner
YO YO MA – United nations Peace Ambassador, winner of 15 Grammy Awards, Presidential Medal of Freedom & National Medal of the Arts
GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ – Nobel prize-winning author
HM QUEEN NOOR of JORDAN – U.N. Advisor, humanitarian activist, memoirist and wife of the late king hussein of Jordan
JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS – Former first lady and doubleday editor
SERGEY BRIN & LARRY PAGE – Google founders
DEVI SRIDHAR – Youngest-ever American Rhodes scholar, author, oxford research fellow, oxford lecturer on global health politics
TAYLOR SWIFT – Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter
WILL WRIGHT – Video game pioneer, creator of the Sims