Dr. Maria Montessori was born in 1870 in Italy. At the age of 26, she became the first female physician in Italy’s history. Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Maria Montessori was a great advocate for world peace. However, she is best known for developing the alternative model of education that bears her name. The success of her method has been demonstrated over and over again in the thousands of Montessori schools worldwide.
The Montessori Method
The mainstream, traditional model of education embodies a factory structure where all children in a class are given the same information simultaneously. This model of education is fundamentally flawed, as it creates passive learners who are fed facts to memorize. Maria Montessori, on the other hand, recognized that children develop at different rates. The classroom is carefully prepared to ensure that specially designed materials and activities are made available to children when their developmental and learning needs call for them.
Offering a uniquely hands-on approach to learning, the Montessori environment inspires students to move freely, within reasonable limits, and work to understand abstract concepts through hands-on, concrete experiences. The respect, autonomy, and freedom given to young children in the classroom works to foster an intrinsic motivation to learn from their stimulating environment. This approach to education promotes a joy of learning. Children who experience joy in learning are confident, happy, fulfilled, and better prepared for their future educational endeavours.