Who is Dr. Maria Montessori?
She was the first female physician in the world who turned educator. This ingenious Italian woman spent many years observing and working with children. In this process, she built on some of the ideas of others who had worked with kids and she also refined her own ideas, materials, and methods. Her anthropologist and engineering training helped her to shape the Montessori methodology, and her studies of medicine provided her the foundation for understanding how the brain and humans develop at early stages in life. She spent more than fifty years developing a program where children could learn the skills they needed to eventually become responsible, productive, independent, self-confident, as well as, citizens of the world.
What is the Montessori method?
Montessori classrooms provide a well planned and ‘prepared environment’ where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work and play. Children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities. Kids learn from active, hands-on activities that draw on all five senses. Learning materials are meant to be interesting, reality oriented, and designed to facilitate self-correcting, helping to refine sensory perceptions.
Maria Montessori believed that the most important period of life is from birth to the age of six as this is the time when intelligence is being formed. She also stated that early stimulation is very important for success in later development. Children have a natural desire of learning, and that the sense of accomplishment that comes from this process is the basis of self-confidence necessary for independence.
Montessori schools have existed on a global level under a variety of cultures as an evidence of the Montessori pedagogy universality. In January 2000, the Calgary Board of Education approved the Montessori Alternative Program by offering three public schools.