Dr. Maria Montessori believed that teachers should focus on the child as a person, not on a the daily lesson plan. Montessori teachers lead children to ask questions, think for themselves, explore, investigate, and discover. Their ultimate objective is to help their students to learn independently and retain the curiosity, creativity, and intelligence with which they were born. Montessori teachers don’t simply present lessons; they are facilitators, mentors, coaches, and guides.
“Imagination does not become great until a person, given courage and strength, uses it to create. If this does not occur, the imagination addresses itself only to a spirit wandering in emptiness.” – Dr. Maria Montessori
Within a safe and empowering community, Montessori children learn at the deepest possible level to believe in themselves. In an atmosphere of independence within community and personal empowerment, they never lose their sense of curiosity and innate ability to learn and discover. Confident in themselves, they open up to the world around them and find that mistakes are not something to be feared; instead, they represent endless opportunities to learn from experience.
Montessori classes are warm, relaxed, and incredibly safe and secure. These are communities in which children have learned how to live and work in partnership with their adult mentors. There are Infant/Toddler classes; Children’s Houses; Elementary classrooms; and Middle and High School level programs. Suntree Montessori is a private school located in Brevard County, FL offering a unique and diverse Montessori preschool program for children ages three to six.
Montessori schools are run to a very large degree by the children, with only that degree of adult guidance necessary to ensure order and safety. In such emotionally safe and secure setting, children can relax, be authentic individuals instead of trying to be ‘cool’, and allow their intelligence, curiosity, creativity, and imagination to blossom. Montessori teachers operate from the understanding that intelligence, creativity, and imagination can be found in every child. A lot of Montessori education is simply about learning how to learn: observing life, listening, looking for patterns, making connections, and reflecting on how things fit together and how they work. Children explore topics that capture their interest and imagination and share them with their classmates.
“The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown to grow under the heat of flaming imagination. Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.” – Dr. Maria Montessori
Curiosity and creativity are important aspects of a Montessori child’s experience. Montessori classrooms incorporate art, music, dance, creative drama, and writing throughout the curriculum.
Imagination plays a central role, as children explore how the natural world works, visualize other cultures and ancient civilizations, and search for creative solutions to real-life problems. In Montessori schools, the Arts are normally integrated into the rest of the curriculum.
“Her creative energies are so fragile as to need a loving and understanding response.” – Dr. Maria Montessori
Courtesy of The Montessori Foundation ©2009