Nearly 100 years ago, Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician, inspired the birth of a worldwide educational movement.
Drawing upon her scientific background and clinical understanding, Dr. Montessori observed how young people learned best when engaged in purposeful activity rather than simply being fed information. She recognized that children’s cognitive growth and development required the construction of an educational framework that would respect individuality and fulfil the needs of the “whole child.”
Her philosophy, materials, and practices have spread around the globe and have been implemented in a variety of cultural settings.
The Montessori Preschool Program
The Montessori preschool classroom is a "living room" for children. Children choose their work from among the self-correcting materials displayed on open shelves, and they work in specific work areas. Over a period of time, the children develop into a "normalized community," working with high concentration and fewer interruptions.
The materials and activities presented to the children allow for concrete manipulation so that learning is relevant and meaningful. In the Montessori preschool environment, five distinct areas constitute the prepared environment: