Montessori is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori (1870-1952). Since its creation, the method has flourished in many countries with 20,000 schools worldwide, serving children from birth to eighteen years old.
The Montessori Method is both a philosophy of child development and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on two important developmental needs of children:
- The need for freedom within limits
- A carefully prepared environment which guarantees exposure to materials and experiences.
Through these developmental needs, children develop their intellect as well as their physical and social abilities. The Montessori method of education is designed to take full advantage of the children’s desire to learn and their distinctive ability to cultivate their own capabilities. The method fosters a love of learning while allowing each child to interact and explore at their own pace in a non-competitive environment.
Children have a deep love and desire for purposeful activity. They work, however, not as an adult for the completion of a task, but for the enjoyment of an activity itself. It is this activity which enables them to achieve their most important goal: the development of their individual selves.