The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of people from birth to adulthood. Dr. Montessori’s method has been time tested, with over hundred years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world. It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child — physical, social, emotional, cognitive.
Montessori education dates back to 1907, when Dr. Montessori opened the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House, in Rome, Italy. Her unique philosophy sparked the interest of educators worldwide, and in the following decades, Montessori schools opened throughout Europe, in North and South America, and finally, on every continent but Antarctica. Today, there are more than 4,000 Montessori schools in the United States, and thousands more bring the Montessori method to every corner of the world.
Dr. Montessori observed that children experience sensitive periods, or windows of opportunity, as they grow. As their students develop, Montessori teachers match appropriate lessons and materials to these sensitive periods when learning is most naturally absorbed and internalized.
In early childhood, Montessori students learn through sensory-motor activities, working with materials that develop their cognitive powers through direct experience: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, and movement.