At the heart of the Montessori philosophy is the belief that each child learns with a unique style at his or her own pace. A key Montessori concept is that children are motivated by their natural desire to become independent and competent beings in the world. Within the Montessori program, children progress to the next step in each area of endeavor when they are ready. The daily activities of students are based on their own needs, strengths, and developmental stages. Maria Montessori, based on her scientific observations of children, identified four planes of developmental growth for the child. She concluded that a child’s growth has a number of critical transformations in the first six years, followed by a period of uniform growth while the mind is “being organized” in the intermediate stage of childhood, ages 6 to 12, and followed by another period of transformation during the ages of 12 to 18. Each formative plane lays the foundation for the next successive plane.
The Montessori classroom provides a prepared learning environment to help create self-disciplined, self-motivated children empowered by opportunities for independence, mixed-age learning, and the desire to pursue knowledge and purposeful work. The classroom provides freedom within limits of an environment to develop a sense of order and self-discipline. The Montessori teacher ensure each child chooses developmentally appropriate academic and social learning experiences. As students move through a Montessori program, they develop academic proficiency, respect, courtesy, and global awareness.
To meet the developmental needs of each child, the following fundamental principles of Montessori span our school’s physical environment, instruction, and curricula:
The child, through the continuous support of the curriculum, peers and teachers, chooses activities that meet his/her unique needs and interests
The child is taught and encouraged at all times to think, communicate, and act carefully, so the collective good of the community is preserved at all times.
The child is taught and encouraged at all times to accept and understand diversity in terms of perspective, ethnicity, gender, and culture of his/her peers and teachers.
The child, within the appropriate limits, is free to choose from a carefully prepared environment of purposeful activities.