The Montessori Method of Education, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children. It is based off of the research and observations of Dr. Maria Montessori. Maria Montessori recognized that children have a natural curiosity and love for knowledge. She felt that the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate the child's own natural desire to learn. In our classrooms learning takes place in a prepared environment and involves self directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. In creating a prepared environment children are free to go about the classroom and select one of the many materials displayed on the shelves. The teachers in the Montessori classroom are there simply to guide the child through the different learning materials and to offer lessons throughout the day. The goal is not to force the child to learn, but rather to cultivate the child's own natural desire to learn. In the Montessori classroom this objective is approached in two ways: first, by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by their own choice rather than by being forced; and second, by helping the child to perfect all their natural tools for learning, so that ability will be at a maximum in future learning situations. The Montessori materials have this dual long-range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child.
Italian Physician and Educator