The first duty of the educator, whether he is
involved with the newborn infant or the older child, is to recognize the human
personality of the young being and respect it.
In 1907, Maria Montessori called her first school Casa dei Bambini, or “The Children’s
House.” She chose this phrase deliberately to accentuate the difference between
her child-centered educational methods and the adult-centered approach to
teaching that was dominant at the time and is still the model in many schools.
effective way to educate the child, Montessori argued, is to thoughtfully
design a learning environment that meets the developmental needs of the “whole
child,” taking into consideration social and emotional needs as well as
academic growth. The role of the teacher is to observe the children, support
their efforts, and gently guide them in the exploration of new ideas and the
practice of new skills. If we
“follow the child,” she said, the child will teach us what he or she is ready
to learn and we can provide materials to facilitate that learning. Allowing
children to choose what they want
to work on in a given time period increases concentration, which results
in greater mastery of the content. It also makes learning fun, because each
individual child may pursue his or her own interests.
Maria Montessori wrote many books and essays outlining her
theories and methods. Her study of children from birth to adulthood allowed her
to formulate philosophical, psychological and pedagogical principles. These,
together with a vast range of recognizable auto-didactic materials, came to be
known as the Montessori Method. Her educational framework is designed to support all
learners, from the learning disabled to the gifted.
a Montessori school, it helps to be familiar with these concepts: