Children's Garden Montessori School

Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori began her work with children in the early 1900s. She was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy and with her medical background began working with pediatric psychiatric patients in Rome. Through careful observation of those children, she began to develop an approach to working with preschool aged children that was revolutionary in her day. After achieving success with children previously thought uneducable, she began working with normal preschool aged children, and began to develop an approach to education and a body of didactic materials which are still used in Montessori schools today. Hallmarks of the Montessori method of education are:

  • respect for each child’s individual path through recognized developmental stages of growth
  • the necessity of freely chosen activity within a prepared environment
  • close observation of children
  • a profound belief in the intrinsic human satisfaction in learning and growing which makes education reward enough, eliminating the need for external rewards related to achievement

She observed that younger children learned from older ones, who in turn derived pleasure and solidified their understandings by being a helper to younger ones, and thus grouped children in mixed age groups. In her schools the role of the adult, or teacher, became a guide to children, responsible for preparing and maintaining a rich, child sized environment, and for providing a link between the environment and the child in the form of carefully practiced lessons with the materials in the classroom. The Montessori teacher is available to provide needed help, and to establish and maintain appropriate emotional and social limits and guidelines.