Out of her remarkable insights in the field of child development, Maria Montessori pioneered a new educational path for children. Its route leads to the attainment of self-discipline and self-empowerment. A life-long love of learning is Montessori's gift to each child. Mature thinking and social skills are the rewards of a Montessori education.
What did Dr. Montessori discover about children that led her to develop this revolutionary approach to learning?
• Children pass through.. "Sensitive Periods" of Learning during which they are able to absorb specific kinds of knowledge more readily than at any other time in life. Sensitive Periods for order and organization, language and math development, social awareness, character and creativity come to the fore at various times between the ages of 2 and 12. The Montessori learning program stimulates and satisfies the child's Sensitive Period needs as they naturally arise.
• Children require a highly interactive, hands-on educational environment to be¬come self-motivated and successful learners. To fully understand the world around them children must be free to explore with their hands and senses. They need to interact with their peers in a simulated "real life" community. They require sufficient time and space to practice and perfect their abilities. The Montessori materials provide children with an exciting variety of interactive experiences. The classroom becomes a laboratory for probing social, academic, and artistic realms.
• Children are motivated to learn through their imaginations and critical think¬ing abilities. Montessori observed that children learn best when their imaginations are invoked. Merging creative expression with academic inquiry heightens the child's joy and understanding of the subject at hand. Observe a Montessori classroom and you'll see no rote memorization or tedious repetition of the basics. The Montessori materials lead students to master academic skills through the process of creative problem solving and critical thinking.
• Each child's path to educational success is unique. Every child possesses personal interests and abilities, learning styles, and creative talents innate to them alone. The Montessori teacher seeks to understand and follow each child's personal road map to self-empowerment. Learning and instruction are individualized to meet each child's unique needs.
Come and see for yourself.Teresita Leimer