Educators who respond to what each child is ready for rather than applying an arbitrary timetable.
Multi-sensory activities that involve the hand and body, made accessible so children can choose.
Beautiful, engaging materials and surroundings so children concentrate deeply and love learning.
Activities based on science and culture to introduce the real world to the child.
Mixed ages so children can learn from older peers and serve as role models to younger ones.
A respectful, child-centred approach that supports the child's independence and character.
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Who was Maria Montessori?
Dr Maria Montessori, physician and psychologist (1870-1952) promoted an educational and parenting method based on scientific theory and observation.
She began her career working with special needs and deprived children, made surprising discoveries in the first "Children's House" in 1907. She noticed that the children – given freedom within their prepared pedagogical environment - were teaching themselves skills and becoming self-motivated and disciplined.
She had not begun by trying to redefine education, but the precocious ‘new children’ attracted the attention of the newspapers, educators and parents. Dr Montessori gathered her findings under the umbrella of a pedagogical method, which she refined over the span of her forty-year educational career.
Today, there are 20 000 Montessori schools around the world. Since Montessori’s methods were based on sound science, they accord with psychology and neuroscience today.
"The child is endowed with unknown powers, which can guide us to a radiant future. If what we really want is a new world, then education must take as its aim the development of these hidden possibilities."
-Montessori, The Absorbent Mind