DR. MARIA MONTESSORI BIOGRAPHY
Maria Montessori was the first woman to attend medical school and the first female Doctor of Medicine in Italy, living from 1870 to 1952. She developed her unique educational method, the Montessori method, through her work with handicapped and socially deprived children. After further study, observation, and experimentation, she found that the principles of her method are applicable to all children. Dr. Maria Montessori and her methods have greatly impacted the effect of education and how children are understood today.
“We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”
– Dr. Maria Montessori.
Montessori is a philosophy and method of education, which emphasizes the potential of the young child and develops this potential by utilizing specially trained teachers and teaching materials. Montessori recognizes in the child a natural curiosity and desire to learn. The specially designed Montessori materials awaken this desire and channel this curiosity into a learning experience that the child enjoys.
The success of any educational program is the quality of the teachers. Many of the teachers here have been with the school for over 10 years, and some over 20 years. Our infant and toddler teachers have all the proper credentials to care for this age group. Primary teachers have Montessori diplomas and our elementary staff have college degrees and Elementary Montessori Diplomas. Each of our teachers have the highest possible credentials and are experienced in teaching their respective fields. The Montessori materials were developed by Maria Montessori and are specific for this form of education.
The school strictly follows the Montessori curriculum and method of teaching propounded by Dr. Maria Montessori, the legendary Italian educator and psychologist. Under this method a child is placed in a prepared environment, working with many well established materials. The child may work individually at his or his own pace. It’s recognized that the only valid impulse to learning is the self motivation of the child. Thus the teacher prepares the environment, programs the activity, functions as the reference person and the exemplar, and stimulates the child to achieve a given objective. Here the quick child is not held back by the slower and the slow child is not forced to proceed faster.
Thus the Montessori child is free to learn because he has acquired from his exposure to both physical and mental order and developed an “inner discipline”, which is the core of the Montessori Educational Philosophy.
Schools have existed to teach children to observe, to think, to judge. Montessori introduces children to the joy of learning at an early age and provides a framework in which intellectual and social discipline goes hand in hand.
Our 3rd to 8th grade students take the “California Test Of Basic Skills” exam and we are proud to share that our students well outperformed the national average in the subject areas tested. Our Middle School children are accepted to the best High Schools after graduation, and from there they frequently are accepted to some of the top colleges in the country. It is with great pride that we have some graduates that are presented with the “Excellence in Education” award, which is signed by the President of the United States.
COMPARISON TO PUBLIC
MONTESSORI VS TRADITIONAL EDUCATION
Emphasis on cognitive structures and social development
Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development
Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom activity; child is an active participant in learning.
Teacher has dominant, active role in classroom activity; child is a passive participant in learning.
Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline.
Teacher acts as primary enforcer of external discipline.
Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to each student’s learning style.
Instruction, both individual and group, conforms to the adult’s teaching style.
Mixed age groups.
Same age groups.
Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other.
Most teaching is done by teacher and collaboration is discouraged.
Child chooses own work from interests and abilities.
Curriculum structured for child with little regard for child’s interest.
Learning is reinforced internally through the child’s own repetition of an activity and internal feelings of success.
Learning is reinforced externally by rote repetition and rewards/discouragement.
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration.
Fewer materials for sensory development and concrete manipulation.
Organized program for learning care of self and environment (polishing shoes, cleaning sink, etc.).
Less emphasis on self-care instruction and classroom maintenance.
Child can work where he/she is comfortable, moves around and talks at will (yet disturbs not the work of others); group work is voluntary and negotiable.
Child is usually assigned own chair; encouraged to sit still and listen during group sessions.
Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning, not participants in understanding the learning process.
Voluntary parent involvement, often only as fundraisers, process.