A Brief Overview
Montessori is a holistic, hands-on teaching philosophy based on years of scientific observation that was initiated in 1907 by the first female doctor of Italy, Maria Montessori. Through her years of experience with children around the world, Dr. Montessori proved that children are able to learn to read, write and calculate as easily and naturally as they learn to walk and talk. With the use of specialized materials, an enticing Prepared Environment and the observation of Sensitive Periods, the curriculum allows for each child to learn independently and at their own pace through individual and small group lessons. Areas of education include: Practical Life, which includes Grace and Courtesy lessons, Sensorial, Language, and Math. Cultural areas of study included in the Montessori curriculum are: Geography, Science, Art, Music and Nature. Maria Montessori was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her development of her Peace Curriculum and she created a non-secular spiritual program.
Dr. Maria Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori was the first woman to enter medical school in Italy and despite the many obstacles she faced due to her gender, she became the first female Italian doctor in 1896.
In 1897, she joined a research program at the psychiatric clinic of at the University of Rome and became very interested in the needs of children with learning disabilities.
Her theory that the lack of support for mentally and developmentally disabled children was the cause of their delinquency led her to develop her own teaching philosophy which would soon prove to be effective with children with normal development.
What is Montessori?
Practical Life lessons are some of the first lessons given to children entering the classroom. These lessons are used as a bridge between the home and school environment because many of the activities have been seen by the child at home. The child takes great pleasure learning how to care for themselves and the environment, while also developing their independence, focus and motor skills. It is beautiful to witness the unfolding pride that takes place when a child learns to prepare his/her own snack or make a flower arrangement. Lessons in Grace and Courtesy liberate the child to the world of social graces. We take for granted as adults that we know what to do when meeting someone for the first time or how to apologize when we accidentally hurt a friend. The children get to practice how to be gracious, as well as learning conflict management skills through fun role-playing lessons.
Montessori Spiritual Curriculum:
The Montessori Spiritual curriculum is sure to enrich every family's personal religious belief systems. Your child will be guided to:
Learn to appreciate more fully the present moment
Strengthen their connection between mind and body
Learn to enjoy stillness
Be encouraged to marvel about the infinite wonders of the universe from the smallest ant to the depth of the cosmos
“Religions are particular answers to the universal human questions about the creation and meaning of life. 'Spiritual' refers to the universal personal concern for the questions.”
~ Paul Byers, Anthropologist and Professor of Education Columbia University
Montessori Peace Curriculum:
We will be following the Flower of Peace Model explained in depth in the book "Honoring the Light of the Child" by Sonnie McFarland. This book is available for short-term loan in the Parent Resource Section in our classroom. There are six basic elements that fall under this model:
Spirit of Love: The interrelationship of all things is emphasized with the Spirit of Love as the common bond
Basic Needs and Human Rights: Under Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs theory, we must have our basic survival needs
met before we are able to concentrate on the higher level needs. This will help the children develop compassion and
understanding for all cultures
Self awareness: Some activities include, but are not limited to deep breathing, responsible choice-making, emotional
recognitions and expression, and empathetic understanding
Community Awareness: These lessons focus on respect for others. Grace and Courtesy lessons and community outreach
are two examples that fall under this category
Cultural Awareness: One way to bring cultural awareness into the classroom is to emphasize the similarities between
different cultures and then to explore the differences with reverence and wonder
Environmental Awareness: Appreciation for the interconnectedness of our global environment will be expressed in our classroom