a child-centered educational approach
based on scientific observations of children.
Dr. Maria Montessori approached human development from scientific angles of medicine, anthropology and a strong influence of psychology. She observed children’s development from birth to adulthood in many different cultures and concluded universal characteristics all human beings shared regardless of time, space or race. She discovered that children are born with the absorbent mind which allows the child to incarnate the world around them for the construction of his personality. Another discovery is that children under the age of six exhibit sensitive periods and if they are properly observed and fully supported will result in full realization of their potential. Through real hands-on activities, the child develops deep concentration and enters the path of normalization. The work of the adults is to facilitate the child’s adaptation to the society and thus they become independent, self-motivated active learners who possess strong emotional, behavioral, and moral foundation.
ROLE OF THE ADULTS:
The child is born with innate ability to take in the environment and construct his human characteristics. When they are properly supported with prepared environment and prepared adults, they will reach their full potential.
The prepared adults are known as Director/Directress, or Guide. They function as facilitators supporting the child’s self construction process. The most important work of a Guide is to observe. In order to observe, they must be trained to have the skills as a teacher and the eyes of a scientist.
The Guide links the child with the a prepared environment through presentations. The decisions are made based on observation of the child’s activities rather than following a set curriculum. The child is viewed as a total being who deserves love and respect.
The Montessori assistant’s role is to support the Guide to allow for peace and order in the prepared environment. They are keen observers and are knowledgeable about the individual child’s needs and interests.
For more information about Montessori Education, please visit www.montessori-ami.org