About Montessori Philosophy
Montessori Philosophy - An Overview
The Montessori system of education is both a philosophy of child development and a rationale for guiding the child’s growth. It is based on the child's developmental needs for freedom within limits, as well as, a carefully prepared environment which guarantees exposure to materials and experiences. Through this, the child develops intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. It is designed to take full advantage of the children's desire to learn and their unique ability to develop their own capabilities. The child needs adults to introduce him to the possibilities of his life. But it is the child who must determine his response to such possibilities. Can the Montessori philosophy get outdated? Montessori practice is always up-to-date and dynamic because observation and the meeting of needs is continual and specific for each child. When physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs are met, children glow with excitement and a drive to work with enthusiasm, to learn, and to create. They exhibit a desire to teach, help, and care for others and for their environment.
The high level of academic achievement so common in Montessori schools is a natural outcome of experience in such a supportive environment. The Montessori method of education is a model which serves the needs of children of all levels of mental and physical ability. The children live and learn in a mixed-age group which is very much like the society they will live in with the adults.
Today Montessori teacher training centres and schools exist on all continents. There are Montessori parenting classes, infant communities, "children's houses" (for age 3-6), and classes for children up to age eighteen in public and private schools. Montessori assists in the work with gifted and talented children. It also helps in programmes for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds. Many parents use Dr. Montessori's discoveries to raise/educate their children at home.
Main thoughts of Montessori education
• Children are to be respected as different from adults but as individuals. They are all not exact replicas but individually different..
• The children possess an unusual sensitivity and intellectual ability to absorb and learn from their environment. The child’s Will has to be different in order to achieve this. Their powers are unlike those of the adult both in quality and capacity.
• The most important years of a child's growth are the first six years of life when unconscious learning is gradually brought to the conscious level.
• The child has a deep love and need for purposeful work. He works, however, not as an adult for completion of a job, but the sake of performing the activity itself. It is this activity which enables him to accomplish his most important goal: the development of himself - his mental, physical, and psychological powers.
• Montessori philosophy is finally being used as originally intended, as a method of seeing children as they really are and of creating environments which foster the fulfillment of their highest potential - spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual - as members of a family, the world community and the Cosmos.
Dr. Montessori gave the world a scientific method, practical and tested, It intends bringing forth the very best in young human beings. She taught adults how to respect their individual differences, and to emphasize on social interaction and the education of the whole personality rather than the teaching of a specific body of knowledge.