The Learning Circle
mission is to encourage
children to become
lifelong learners with
an enthusiastic love for
learning and respect
for self and others.
What Is Montessori?
Montessori Education is based on the work of Italian physician, Dr. Maria Montessori, whose research in the first half of the twentieth century gave birth to an innovative educational system that has grown worldwide.
Dr. Montessori developed a philosophy based on the natural development of children and their intrinsic desire to explore, discover and learn from the world around them.
The fundamental tenet is that a child flourishes in a warm, nurturing environment which supports each individual's unique development.
Montessori Education promotes the development of social, emotional, and physical skills, as well as cognitive understanding and growth.
The Montessori Approach
Dr. Montessori's ideas were forerunners of contemporary ideas we know as "individualized learning" and the "open-classroom structure." Among Montessori's original contributions are:
Montessori schools have long been established in many other countries. A new wave of American interest began in 1958, when Nancy McCormick Rambusch opened the Whitby School in Greenwich, Connecticut. Currently there are more than 10,000 private Montessori schools in the United States and over 500 public Montessori school programs.
- the idea of "sensitive periods" of development during which a
child is highly receptive to certain concepts
- the development of child-sized furniture and equipment
- an emphasis on concrete materials for the teaching of concepts
- recognition of the importance of repetitive behavior associated
with emerging mental abilities
- the basic design for an educational environment which fosters the
development of autonomy in the individual and recognizes the
interdependence of freedom and discipline
The Montessori Classroom
A typical Montessori classroom includes children of multiple age levels, adults who guide and facilitate rather than direct, and a wide variety of materials and activities which are structured in a sequential manner to facilitate natural development and to communicate concepts. The uniqueness of the Montessori approach to education is immediately apparent as children receive a teacher demonstration, choose their own work, use their chosen materials independently and then return them to their place on the shelf.
MONTESSORI AT THE EARLY CHILDHOOD LEVEL
It is our firm conviction that all children are not only unique, but gifted and talented as well. We acknowledge that all children learn at different speeds, in different modalities and that they have special areas of interest. The Montessori early childhood classrooms are responsive environments where the needs and spirit of each child can be tended to with care and respect. The curriculum is formulated around the developmental, emotional, social and academic abilities of each child. For these reasons, children are taught in individual, small group and whole group lessons.
Children in the early childhood years possess an innate ability to absorb information from his or her surroundings,according to Dr. Montessori. She named the quality "the absorbent mind". A sensorial learner , the child soaks up every aspect of the environment, including language and culture. "Help me to do it myself" is the motto of the young child. Development during this period focuses on learning to be independent. The environment should support this natural drive so that the child is encouraged to become competent and confident.
The Montessori approach embraces the development of the whole child, physically, socially, emotionally,cognitively and spiritually.
IMPACT OF MONTESSORI EDUCATION ON THE CHILD
Children who have been educated using the Montessori method grow into competent learners who know how to learn and love learning. The solid foundation begun early in life creates self confident, contributing adults. In Education for a New World,Dr. Montessori states:
"...they will be witnesses of the unfolding of the human soul and to the raising of a New Man who will not be the victim of events,but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society."
American Montessori Society Affiliation and Teacher Training
There are many organizations that train teachers and certify Montessori schools as members. The Learning Circle Montessori School is an affiliate of the American Montessori Society (AMS) www.amshq.org. AMS was founded in 1960 by Nancy Rambusch in response to the overwhelming public demand for more information regarding Montessori education. Today, the American Montessori Society is a national, non-profit educational society whose purpose is to help children develop their fullest potential through the educational principles of Dr. Maria Montessori. The organization is dedicated to promoting better education for all children by developing Montessori programs, accrediting schools, granting credentials, encouraging research, organizing seminars and symposia, offering consulting services and promoting all other areas that relate to the Montessori philosophy.
If you are interested in learning more about The American Montessori Society you may write the AMS office at 281 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010-6102 or visit www.amshq.org