Trevor Eissler makes the case for Montessori education in this short, creative video.
"Montessori is the best method of schooling for children I have found for children to joyfully and effectively learn independence, responsibility, self discipline, leadership, initiative, strong academics and a life-time love of learning."
The Montessori Method or The Montessori School
The Montessori learning environment is different from the traditional model of teaching and was first developed by Italian physician and educator Dr. Maria Montessori. She laid the foundation for Montessori schools throughout the world.
Influenced by French physicians, Jean Itard and Edouard Seguin, Montessori experimented with methods she found in medicine, education and anthropology. She used the study to challenge childrens' ability to learn, which ended in miraculous results.
The children entered her program as disorderly and irritable, but somehow responded to her teaching methods. She always held them in the highest regard and taught her teachers to do likewise. From the beginning, amazing things happened. Children younger than three- and four-years-old began to read, write, and initiate self-respect. Montessori's method encouraged what she saw as the children's innate ability to "absorb" culture.
In 1907, Montessori maintained her theories and methods of teaching. She opened the Casa dei Bambini, "Children's House," teaching children of normal intelligence, using her methods based on her research that children learn best by interacting with concrete materials, using their senses such as tasting, smelling etc. and responding to the environment. She began by directing a system of daycare centers in one of Rome's slum and impoverished neighborhoods and later traveled around the world teaching her method.
The Montessori Philosophy
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that children learn best by doing. They work spontaneously in an environment that is prepared and filled with manipulatives that promote learning.
According to the Montessori philosophy, young children learn best in a home-like setting. It should consist of developmentally appropriate materials that provide experiences contributing to self-motivation and construction. Think of it as a triangle: the student, the teacher and the environment.
Montessori's theories include such premises as:
- The most important years for learning are from birth to age six.
- Respect for the child
- Creativity within the child