Montessori Method of Education
Scientific observation has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment. The task of the teacher becomes that of preparing a series of motives of cultural activity, spread over a specially prepared environment, and then refraining from obtrusive interference. – Maria Montessori, Education for a New World
Montessori Method is a time-tested educational philosophy and method based on the scientific observations. It was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. It is based on the belief that a child has a natural ability to learn about the world and that the child, given a supportive and prepared environment, is capable of self-directed learning. Montessori Method of Education is designed for ages infant to 18-year old.
The Montessori Method involves three key characteristics:
- a prepared environment – an environment that provides attractive, well-ordered activities to support each child’s physical and mental development.
- a prepared adult – knowledgeable of the developmental stages of children and young adults, trained as a skilled observer and as a resource for the students.
- multi-age classrooms – provides the opportunity for younger to feel supported and older students to be a mentor and role model.
Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870 to middle-class, well-educated, parents.
Montessori eventually entered a medical school in Rome. Her time at medical school was not easy. But she was a dedicated student. She went on to graduate with honors in 1896. She became the first female doctor in Italy.
After medical school Dr. Montessori began a period of research and observation concerning children which lead to the development of her approach to education. In 1907 Dr. Montessori was put in charge of a childcare center in a poor district of Rome which she named the center Casa dei Bambini or ‘Children’s House’.
In 1909 Dr. Montessori gave the first teacher training course in her educational method to 100 adult students. Using her notes from this training course, she published her first book. This book was translated and published in the United States as The Montessori Method.
Montessori societies, training programs, and schools began to spread all over the world.
For the rest of her life, Dr. Montessori dedicated herself to advancing the Montessori Method of education. During World War II, Dr Montessori, along with her son, was forced into exile from her native Italy and lived and worked in India for many years. During this period Dr. Montessori and her son developed the philosophy of Cosmic Education. After her death in 1952, her son and grandchildren carried on her work.
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