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