"The environment must be rich with motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences." - Maria Montessori

Montessori Philosophy

The Montessori educational philosophy, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907, is based on the tenet that children learn best within what she called "prepared environments," which support their unique developmental characteristics. These environments contain specially designed, manipulative materials for development that invite children to learn at their own pace according to their own individual style. Under the guidance of a trained teacher, children in a Montessori classroom learn through discovery, a methodology that cultivates concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.

The prepared environments and the role the teacher plays in the classroom distinguish Montessori from other educational approaches. They also offer practical occasions for introducing social relationships through free interaction. The logical, sequential nature of the environment provides orderly structures that guide discovery. For instance, theorems are discovered, not presented; spelling rules are derived through recognition of patterns, not merely memorized. Every aspect of the curriculum involves creative invention and careful, thoughtful analysis. In a Montessori classroom, the emphasis is on how students learn something, not the mere memorization of facts. Helping students discover how they learn at any early age helps them become more adept, inspired learners.

Premises of the Montessori Education

  • Each child learns differently from adults and from other children, differences that should be celebrated rather than corrected.
  • Children are naturally creative and best express themselves through purposeful activity.
  • A foundation of lifelong learning is built from birth through age 12.
  • Children possess exceptional sensitivities and an innate ability to absorb stimuli and learn from their environment.

How Does It Work?

Each Acorn Montessori class is grounded in the core Montessori beliefs of respect for oneself, each other, and for the environment. Children are free to work at their own pace with materials they have chosen, either alone or with others, while teachers rely on observations to determine which new activities and materials to introduce to an individual child or to a group. The objective is to encourage active, self-directed learning and to strike a balance of individual mastery with small group collaboration within the whole group community. The three-year-age span within each class provides a family-like grouping where learning takes place naturally. More experienced children share what they have learned while reinforcing their own knowledge, while at the same time developing mentoring skills and sharpening their leadership qualities. Because peer group learning is intrinsic to Montessori, there are often more conversational language experiences in the Montessori classroom than in conventional early education settings.



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"Character formation cannot be taught. It comes from experience and not from explanation." Maria Montessori ...

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