“We should regard this secret effort of the child as something sacred. We should welcome its arduous manifestations since it is in this creative period that an individual’s future personality is determined.”
Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood
The Montessori Method is an educational method developed by Dr. Maria Montessori that can be applied from birth up to 24 years of age. Our school welcomes children from 2 to 11 years old.
The Montessori Method is Child-Centered, an active builder of their own knowledge and skills, a complete, sensitive human being. Adults must show the utmost respect by avoiding taking their place. Learning is the result of inner work and the environment must be prepared in such a way as to allow the child to “do it themselves,” observe, experiment, manipulate and internalise concepts by repeating freely chosen exercises.
“The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.”
Maria Montessori first used the term «Cosmic Education» around 1935.
Cosmic Education aims to help the child understand and satisfy any type of interest that awakens once he has become aware of his surroundings and his mind needs to know and comprehend more about the world around him. The Cosmic Curriculum (History, Geography and Science) is the answer to the Sensitive Period of Culture.
Montessori materials are not simple educational materials. Rather, they are development materials that help children to improve and progress by drawing on their own psychic and intellectual resources. The materials allow the child to self-correct without the assistance or judgement of an adult. The child will develop a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from the work itself.
Materials are divided into practical life and development materials.
“The work of the new mistress is that of a guide(…) a sure guide on the path of life, she neither urges forward nor holds back, satisfied that she has done her work when she has guaranteed to this precious traveller, the child, that he is on right road.”
Maria Montessori – The Discovery of the Child, pg 259-260
Montessori teachers are figures of help and facilitation. Organisers and observers of the mental and cultural life of the child, they prepare the necessary working environment. In this method that puts the child’s learning process first, the role of the teacher loses its centrality; the teacher does not impose, dispose or prevent but proposes, prepares, stimulates and directs.
In a Montessori school freedom of choice is the highest activity: only the child who knows what they need to exercise and develop their spiritual life can really choose freely. When we speak of freedom of choice it does not mean that the child is “free” to do what they want in the classroom, rather it means knowing how to recognise that materials in the classroom (which they already know how to use) are able to satisfy their inner needs for growth at that moment. The child is stimulated by the materials and starts to work with great commitment and concentration. Freedom of choice and appropriate work channel the child’s spirit to discover their deepest nature: doing and knowing how to do not imposed and judged by adults but experienced working in a social environment that is itself non-competitive, non-selective or marginalising.