Montessori is named after Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952), one of the most important educators of the 20th century, the innovator of classroom practices and ideas which have had a profound influence on the education of young children all around the world. Dr. Montessori left the world the legacy of a method of education combining a philosophy of freedom and self development for children with a practical approach.
Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world. – Dr. Maria Montessori
She believed that all children want to learn and can absorb knowledge without effort if they are offered the right kind of activities at the right time of their development by teachers trained to observe carefully and respond to their individual needs. The philosophy underpinning her work is one of respect and care for all children: the ideal Montessori teacher is gentle, sympathetic, and always looking for the best in every child.
The Montessori approach places emphasis on educating the whole child, covering all aspects of development – intellectual, social, physical, emotional, and spiritual. Building on children’s intrinsic desire to learn, Montessori created ideal environments full of opportunities for children to experiment and initiate their own education.
We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. – Dr. Maria Montessori
At the heart of the method are the Montessori materials, beautiful and enticing pieces of equipment carefully designed to incorporate a learning objective. Understanding, dexterity, and skills are developed each time the child uses them.