THE MONTESSORI METHOD
The Montessori method is named after its founder, Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952). Dr. Montessori based her findings upon years of patient observation of the nature of children, and after extensive work with children, Dr. Montessori found that:
Her system proved itself of universal application.
It has revealed the small child as a lover of work, intellectual work, spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.
It is based on the child’s imperious need to learn by doing. At each stage in the child’s mental growth, corresponding activities are provided by means of which the child develops their faculties.
It is an active discipline which originates within the child and is not imposed from without.
It is based on a profound respect for the child’s personality and removes the influence of the adult, thus leaving room to grow in independence.
It enables the Teacher to deal with each child individually in each subject and thus guide the child according to their individual requirements.
Each child works at their own pace, hence the quick child is not held back by the slow child, nor is the latter, in trying to keep up with the former, obliged to flounder. Each stone in the mental edifice is “well and truly” laid before the next is added.
Dr. Montessori understood the importance of sensitive periods – those times when children experience an inner drive, a passion to do and understand. During these times, learning is most thorough, concentration is most intense, and enthusiasm is most heightened as children pursue, often with endless repetition, activities which they find interesting.