Maria Montessori was the first woman to qualify as a medical doctor in Italy. Born in 1870, her scientific background underlies the design of the Montessori materials. Her approach to education focuses on children’s innate desire to learn and their eagerness and capacity to do so when provided with the right environment and appropriate materials under the guidance of an observant caring and respectful teacher. She also believed that children learn from one another, no matter what their age.
Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.
Montessori believed that a child’s early years, from birth to six, are the period when they has the greatest capacity to learn and the greatest appetite for knowledge.
The child has their own laws of development and it is a question of following these laws rather than imposing on the child. She believed that the child can develop self discipline when given the freedom within an appropriate environment. This does not mean allowing the child to act irresponsibly without restraint. It means offering the child a choice of activities, allowing them freedom to exercise movement; to examine things with all their senses; to follow their own pace; to repeat an activity as many times as they choose and to be free from interruption whenever they are concentrating.
The child learns independently using Montessori materials. The teacher, the link between the child and environment, coaches and observes the child who chooses activities. The learning environment cultivates individual responsibility, freedom of choice, concentration, independence, problem-solving abilities, social interaction, interdisciplinary breadth and competency in basic skills.
Provided with the right environment and the appropriate materials under the guidance of an observant caring and respectful teacher.