“If one is able to harness a child’s innate delight in discovery, to make use of their self-motivation, there is no reason why this enthusiasm for school should fade.” (Dr Maria Montessori)
Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was a medical doctor and advocate for the rights of children. She was the first woman to graduate from a university in Italy, obtaining a degree in Medicine. She also studied educational philosophy, psychology and anthropology.
It was through her studies of underprivileged children that she discovered the exceptional qualities inherent in all children, when given the best conditions for learning. She spent the rest of her life developing her educational ideas and philosophies, which are practiced worldwide today.
Dr Maria Montessori discovered that children learn best if they are given:
- A prepared environment, for practicing the skills they need, prepared by the teacher using scientifically designed materials.
- The opportunity to follow their natural curiosity.
- An environment of love, security, respect and order.
- Tasks appropriate to their level of development to scaffold them to the next level on the learning scale.
The Montessori approach is based on the understanding that children must have freedom to develop-a-freedom achieved through work, order and self-discipline. Through self-motivation and the interest of the work itself, and from exposure to both physical and mental order, the child acquires an “inner discipline.”
Montessori children have a great ability to acclimatise.