The Montessori education is both a philosophy of child growth and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on the child’s developmental needs for freedom within limits and a carefully prepared environment which guarantees exposure to materials and experiences through which to develop intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. It is designed to take full advantage of the self-motivation and unique ability of children to develop their own capabilities. The child needs adults to introduce her to the possibilities of her life, but the child herself must direct her response to those opportunities.
Children of mixed ages and abilities work together in a Montessori classroom. Multi-aged grouping permits individual development, encourages a sense of community and cooperation thus creating a non-competitive, yet self- driven atmosphere. The child may choose whatever activity suits his particular needs within a certain developmental period. He progresses from this point, at his own pace, in his own pattern. Children may work at a task uninterrupted for as long as they wish, provided they do not disturb others. The children may work alone or in large or small groups. While they are not required to work together, the community and cooperative atmosphere of the class encourages easy relationships.
The teacher works with individual children, introducing materials and giving guidance where needed. His/her primary task is careful observation of each child to determine the child’s needs and to gain the knowledge he/she needs in preparing the environment to aid in the child’s growth. His/her method of teaching is indirect in that he/she neither imposes on the child nor abandons the child. Rather, the teacher takes cues from the child, providing appropriate challenges when the child indicates she is ready. Thus the child is successful at her task without frustration or feelings of inability due to failure.
The Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment containing materials that mirror the children’s social and cultural environment in which they live. Children use materials to learn care of themselves (ie. Dressing, buttoning, zipping, and handwashing). They learn to care for their environment (gardening, polishing, and cleanliness of the classroom). In particular, the children learn respect for each other (how to interrupt, politeness, and regard for others). The Montessori materials are generally made from wood or other natural substances. The materials are orderly, self-correcting, and stimulating to allow the child to explore with all his senses.
Meeting House Montessori
85 Washington Street Braintree, MA 02190 P. (781) 356-7877 F. (781) 356-6744