The Montessori movement takes its name from its founder, Dr Maria Montessori who began Casa dei Bambini or Children’s House in Rome in 1907.
Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952) has been described as an educator, scientist, physician, philosopher, feminist and humanitarian, and was the first early childhood educator to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dr Montessori felt strongly that a radical reform of education was essential if there was to be any hope for peace in our time.
She intended that children be placed at the centre of society to enable all children to become caring, self-motivated and fulfilled individuals, able to create a harmonious and peaceful future for humanity
Montessori for 2 1/2 to 6 year olds
The young child is curious about everything and needs to explore and discover. The Montessori 2 1/2 – 6 learning environment is designed to encourage each child to move, touch, and explore. The child has freedom to work independently, based on their own initiatives with gentle and respectful guidance from their teacher. The young child has the freedom to choose their own activities using their own initiative and following their individual needs.
The Montessori Early Childhood Centre consists of children of mixed ages. The children learn from each other and because of each other, with older children being role models for younger children. Each child learns to cooperate with children of different ages, to respect and celebrate each other’s efforts and to take care of themselves, others and their environment. The classroom becomes a thriving community where children are treated with respect and dignity and where they learn to treat others with respect and dignity.
The Montessori classroom is prepared with the child in mind. The physical space and routines of the classroom are designed to maximise independent learning and exploration. Objects are placed so children can reach what they need, without having to wait for adult help.
Dr Montessori noticed that children do not learn from listening to an adult talk – they learn best from direct experience with objects in their environment. Children have a deep urge to manipulate and explore. Montessori developed learning materials to stimulate the child into discovery. Each Montessori material is simple and carefully designed to appeal to the child at their stage of development.
Keen to learn more about the Montessori philosophy?
Check out Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand
Check out the Parent Guide for ages 3 – 6 from Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand