Maria Montessori was born in 1870 in a little town in Italy. Dr. Montessori’s focus on the whole child led her to develop a very different sort of school, one that was more child-centred. She emphasised this difference when she named her first school the “Children’s House.” The Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment designed to facilitate the development of the children’s independence and sense of personal empowerment. They move freely within the environment carefully selecting the work that captures their interest, thus giving them the opportunity to investigate and learn. Even the smallest child is responsible for the care of his or her own child sized environment. A Montessori Pre School is designed to work with children between the ages of two and six. At this age the child’s mind is likened to a sponge, otherwise known as the ‘absorbent mind’. Learning is spontaneous and requires little effort which leads to a concrete understanding of many abstract concepts. The children work at their own pace which enables them to become motivated and self disciplined in their learning experience and at the same time retain a sense of curiosity. It is through the independent completion of tasks that the children develop a strong sense of confidence in their abilities. This gives them the courage to take on further challenges and allows them to progress through the various learning areas. The three year Montessori experience gives the children a joy of learning which prepares them for future challenges. In addition, the teachers gain a unique understanding of the child as an individual.
The Areas of Learning