Introducing Montessori

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Introducing Montessori

There are so many misconceptions about Montessori. Some people say, "That's where the children are allowed to do whatever they like." Others say, "It's too rigid – the children have to work all the time and have no time to socialize." The reality is that Montessori is neither of these claims.

Where are the toys? There does not seem to be an opportunity for pretend play. The materials do not seem to allow children to be creative ... – are frequently asked questions. 

The Montessori philosophy encourages a great deal of independence, freedom within appropriate limits, which is always linked with responsibility.While you may think that Montessori education is a method, it is really more an approach to life, growth and development. One of the most important principles of the Montessori philosophy is fostering  the best in each child. Maria Montessori believed that in an environment where children are allowed to choose their work and to concentrate for as long as needed on a task, they come out of this period of concentration calm, refreshed and full of good will towards each other and their environment. This natural goodness and empathy are inborn, and do not need to be taught but protected. Maria Montessori was a keen observer of children. In the first Children's House she observed that children never played with pretend play things as long as they were allowed to do real things - i.e. cooking instead of pretending to cook. It is still true. Although, there is as much interaction as the children desire, it is their choice to master the challenges offered to them through which they become happier and kinder social beings. Since concentration is protected above all, children learn early not to interrupt someone who is concentrating.

Maria Montessori´s main contributions to the work of educators are in these areas:

  • Preparing the most natural and life supporting environment for the child
  • Observing the child living freely in this environment
  • Continously adapting the environment to the childś needs, thus enable him/her to reach his/her  greatest potential -- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.