The Montessori Method of Education is a worldwide educational approach for kindergarten, preschool, primary and secondary level.
This method has proved successful with children from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. There are many Montessori schools throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Dr Maria Montessori, who lived from 1870 to 1952, was a brilliant and original educator, scientist, doctor, humanitarian and philosopher.
In the course of her career, she developed an early childhood centre, which she called “A Children’s House”, in San Lorenzo in Rome in 1907. She prepared an environment with a range of equipment which she designed and a variety of activities specially suited to young children, based on universal laws of child growth and development. Within this environment, Dr Montessori acted as a guide.
The children thrived on being able to choose their own activities and materials. They seemed contented and rested in their labours as though some great inner need was being satisfied. They displayed a total disregard for other rewards or punishments in relation to their work. They appeared more self-confident, more self-disciplined and more loving towards each other. Dr Montessori believed that education begins at birth and that the first six years of life are the most formative in terms of a child’s development. It is during this time that a child’s powers of absorption are highest, and that attitudes and patterns of learning that last for life are formed.