The Montessori teaching method is based upon:
- The child's creative potential
- The child's desire to learn
- A child's right to be treated as an individual
Maria Montessori was a developmentalist. She created a teaching philosophy to coincide with the "sensitive" developmental stages of the child. 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, etc...
For General Principals:
- Prepared Environment
- Independence and Responsibility
These "sensitive periods" of development highlight when a child's interest and mental capacity are best suited for learning. Maria Montessori believed to support the child's learning we must identify and then focus in on certain sensitive periods in the child's development. As the child passes through these periods, we must furnish the child with what will help them respond and learn.
- Refinement of senses
- Sensitivity to reading and sounds
- Concepts of spatial relationships
- Fascination of small objects
Maria Montessori went into great detail in devising material for the children to handle that were appropriate for their size and ability. The materials are self directed, self correcting and encourage individual effort.
The materials always lead the child to higher learning - moving from concrete to more abstract.
The Montessori environment emphasizes the development of initiative and sense perception through physical freedom. The teacher is simply a background facilitator to the environment.