Montessori Method

Educational Philosophy

The Montessori Method is a scientific method of education, developed from empirical research by Dr. Maria Montessori. The first female physician in Italy in the early 1900’s, she began her studies into child development, gathering research from children from a diverse range of cultural and socio economic backgrounds, from all over the world. Subsequently, she created her method of education. Since her foundation work, Montessori education has spread all over the world and can now be found in 22,000 schools in over 110 countries. Montessori education offers programs from birth through to, and including, secondary education.

The Montessori Method is based upon the universal stages of human development. It educates the whole child, preparing them for real life. Montessori education involves exploring concepts in real contexts, followed by self directed education using concrete materials, before moving onto abstract articulation and representation. Montessori education develops the character, the mind and the body, through training and refining the senses. The Method understands the impact movement has on cognition. It develops concentration; the path to peacefulness and happiness, cultivating the child’s natural instincts to work and to contribute. It acknowledges and utilises the empowerment of learning from peers. The Montessori Method sequentially presents concepts during Sensitive Periods within each stage of development, when the child displays readiness. It teaches children to manage freedom with responsibility, building self discipline, while developing their self esteem, through independence. Montessori education places real and direct experiences within the child’s day to develop these qualities. This all takes place within a carefully prepared environment, with developmentally appropriate equipment, that enables the children to make connections for themselves. Montessori education is multi-sensory learning; catering for all learning styles. It is tailored to follow each individual child through their phases of development at their own pace.

Stages Of Development

Dr Maria Montessori developed a philosophy of education which is as inspirational as it is comprehensive. Dr Montessori believed that if education followed the natural development of the child then society would move to a higher level of co-operation, peace and harmony.

Dr Montessori believed that the multi-age classes in three year age Cycles best accommodated the planes of development in today's education context.

Cycle Ages Grades
1 3 – 6 3 year old kinder, preschool and prep
2 6 – 9 1 – 3
3 9 – 12 4 – 6

During her lifelong observations of children, Dr Montessori observed that all children progress through four stages or planes of development.

The first plane of development, from birth to age six, is known as the 'absorbent mind'. This represents the manner in which children on this plane of development use all of their senses to absorb information from their environment.

The second plane, from age six to twelve, is known as the 'reasoning mind'. This develops as the child explores the world using thought and imagination.

The third plane, from twelve to eighteen, is known as the 'specialist mind'. This allows the young adult to take his or her place in the world.

"The more fully the needs of one period are met, the greater will be the success of the next"
Dr Maria Montessori

"Needless help is an actual hindrance to the development of the natural forces."
Dr Maria Montessori