Introduced by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907, the Montessori Method is a child-centered approach to education based on the scientific observations of children’s learning processes. Dr. Montessori discovered that children desire to and are capable of teaching themselves if the environment is carefully prepared to meet their learning needs.
Dr. Montessori designed a reality-oriented, orderly, child-sized environment in which specifically-created Montessori materials are displayed on low open shelves so that they are readily available to the children. These materials are designed to encourage thought, exploration, experimentation, and creativity.
Under the Montessori teacher’s guidance, children are free to work at their own pace with materials they have chosen. The teachers rely on observations of the children to determine which new activities and materials they will introduce to each child. The aim is to encourage active, self-directed learning and to aid individual mastery within the whole-group community. Mixed ages are a trademark of the Montessori Method. The three-year-age span in each class provides a family-like grouping where learning can take place naturally.