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More About Dr. Maria Montessori & Montessori Method
[ (1870-1952) ]
Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870, in Chiaravalle, Italy. Montessori graduate with high honors from the medical school of the University of Rome in 1896 to became the first female doctor in Italy. She specialized in pediatrics and psychiatry. While working at the university in Rome, she observed that intrinsic intelligence was present in children of all socio-economic backgrounds.

Montessori's success with developmentally disabled children spurred her desire to test her teaching methods on "normal" children. She was given the chance to test her theory by the Italian government in 1907 when she was placed in charge of 60 students ranging in age who came from 1 to 6 from low-income households. The school, called Casa dei Bambini (or Children's House), enabled Montessori to create the "prepared learning" environment she believed was conducive to sense learning and creative exploration. Educators were urged to "follow the child"—that is, to let children's natural interests take the lead by taking a step back. Over the years, Montessori tweaked her methods through trial and error. Her writings further served to spread her ideology throughout Europe and the United States.

By 1925 more than 1,000 of her schools had opened in America. Gradually Montessori schools fell out of favor and by 1940 the movement become a past thought and only a few schools remained. Once World War II began, Montessori was forced to flee to India, where she developed a program called Education for Peace. Her work with the program earned her two Nobel Peace Prize nominations.

The 1960s witnessed a resurgence in Montessori schools, led by Dr. Nancy McCormick Rambusch. Today, Montessori's teaching methods continue to "follow the child" all over the globe.

 

Source: https://www.biography.com/scholar/maria-montessori

[ 100 years of educational success ]
Montessori Method

A Montessori curriculum uses hands-on, multi-sensory/multi-modality instruction. This means that concepts are not just taught by rote memorisation or out of a textbook; learning is activity- based, allowing children to explore and learn using scientifically designed hands-on materials in a prepared environment.

Montessori education is based on the belief that children are individuals and thus, have individual learning styles and interests. The teacher guides each child through the learning process, using materials that fit their specific needs and pace instead of focusing on the daily lesson plan. Montessori teachers encourage children to ask questions, think for themselves, explore, investigate and discover. For all students, curriculum planning is developed around each child’s assessed skill set. Each child is individually evaluated and the materials presented are matched to his or her level. Thus, in effect, every child receives a personalised course of study and is allowed to progress at his or her own rate, regardless of age or grade level.

A Montessori education focuses not only on academics, but also on essential life skills and character development. The Montessori social curriculum is incorporated into the academic curriculum at all levels and children learn how to behave in specific situations and acquire social skills for everyday living. The children develop a sense of personal dignity, an understanding of their culture, and an awareness and respect for people of all ages and traditions. Conflict resolution skills are taught and attention is given to making good choices. Having the appropriate social and language skills enables a child to engage positively in the classroom community and beyond.