Every child is unique and precious. Every child deserves the chance to reach his or her intellectual and social potential.
Maria Montessori, the founder of Montessori Education, understood how a good education unlocks and realizes children's potential. She set up schools for children of all ages, from language nests (birth to three, to primary (kindergarten) schools, to elementary schools and high schools.
In a traditional learning environment the needs of children to determine their own learning can be put aside as teachers work to maintain control and discipline. The difference of Montessori Education is that it focuses not on external control and discipline, but on providing an environment where children can learn self care, self control and self discipline. When children learn to self regulate their behavior, they begin to be able to think independently. This focus on self-regulation and independence is seen within the Montessori philosophy as the key not only to intellectually and socially healthy children, but to a more peaceful world.
Montessori Primary Education
Montessori Primary Education has become the first choice for discerning parents who understand how important it is for children even at a very young age to work at their own pace, discover and solve problems, make decisions and achieve success. A visit to a Montessori school will show the difference of Montessori Education to traditional education. Parents will see how opportunities are created in classrooms for children to choose from a range of age and size appropriate materials, to try out and practice techniques, to decide on actions, to learn from actions and to succeed.
Children up to six years old see the world in very concrete ways. They learn about their environment through what they see, hear, touch, taste and smell. In Montessori Primary Education children work with learning materials that can be experienced through the senses.
Between three and six years old, children are learning to use language effectively and to engage socially with the people around them. In a traditional education setting, children between three and six are often grouped according to age. So much opportunity for social learning is lost this way. The difference of Montessori Primary Education is that mixed age grouping is used. This encourages healthy social development - older children learn to help younger children, and younger children learn from the example of older children.
Montessori Ideas Copied but not Refined
Although many of the ideas developed within Montessori Education have been adopted in traditional early childhood education, children attending Montessori Primary schools benefit from almost a century of development and refinement of the Montessori philosophy and practice. For parents wishing to know more about the founder, Maria Montessori, and about Montessori Primary Education itself, some schools offer programs that explain the philosophy and opportunities to observe and participate in class activities.