Continuing the Legacy

“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” Dr. Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was born on Aug 31, 1870, and this week marks what would have been her 151st birthday. Much has changed since 1870, but her legacy lives on in Montessori schools around the world, including The Montessori School of San Antonio.

Dr. Montessori made her mark as an innovator in education, with a background in science and medicine in a time when women were not commonly members of those professions. Her methods grew from the observation that children were intensely attracted to certain materials and activities and that they were able to engage spontaneously and with deep concentration. She identified and documented periods of development for children and developed materials that corresponded to children’s progress through these planes of development. She encouraged teachers to “follow the child” to best help children learn, grow, and develop.

These planes of development correspond to MSSA’s levels, with children in Primary learning by active, hands-on experience. They are allowed to choose work from language, math, sensorial, cultural, and practical life areas. Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary learning is characterized by children’s drive to understand the world around them. This happens through cognitive reasoning and imagination as they start to form social bonds and develop values. Middle School children are becoming independent thinkers who can collaborate, communicate, and problem-solve. Dr. Montessori’s ultimate goal was social and moral human flourishing. This aligns with MSSA’s vision of education for life and the attention paid in our classroom communities to care of self, care of others, and care of the environment.

Interest in the Montessori philosophy is growing nationwide. We are proud to wish Dr. Montessori a Happy Birthday and thank her for her ideas that continue to shape and mold children and the adults who care for them today.

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