Montessori is a system of education that was developed in 1907 by Dr Maria Montessori, Italy’s first ever female doctor. The centre piece of the Montessori approach is allowing the children to learn on their own while being guided by the teacher. The method is characterized by:

  • A meticulously prepared environment that is aesthetically pleasing to the child, and conducive to exploring and learning.
  • A quietly-supportive role of the teacher who serves as a guide
  • The highest respect for the child

Traditional schooling asserts that children’s minds are empty slates upon which the teacher will write, and the lessons are given to all children at one time at a pace set by the teacher. Maria Montessori believed that children learn best at their own pace as they are ready to absorb new information. She believed that children are naturally curious, so providing them with the tools to learn and engaging their curiosity is a more effective way to teach.

In Montessori, the focus is on children’s learning and not on the teacher’s teaching, with the environment designed to meet the needs, interests and development of the children in the class. The method is adapted with its particular community of children in mind and constantly modified to fit their ever-changing needs.

The learning is hands-on with real things or concrete models that bring abstract concepts to life, allowing the children to learn with much deeper understanding.

Children are encouraged to move about freely within reasonable limits of appropriate behavior, much of the time selecting work that captures their interest. It is an atmosphere of spontaneous activity with teachers continually drawing their attention and capturing their interest in new challenges and areas of enquiry.

Montessori consciously designs social communities and educational experiences that cultivate the child’s sense of independence, self-respect, love of peace, passion for self-chosen work and the ability to respect and celebrate the individual spirit within people of all ages, and the value of all life. The curriculum is international in its heritage and focus, and subconsciously seeks to promote global perspective.

Recent research studies are increasingly demonstrating the benefits of this form of education. Montessori children not only fare well in academic achievement, but tend to outclass their peers in many aspects of social development.