Dr. Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator. She was the first woman to earn a medical degree at the University of Rome, Italy, in 1896. Born in 1870, she developed her method of educating children over a 40-year period of working with and directly observing children. Dr. Maria Montessori devoted her life to the education of children and was honored and respected throughout the world at the time of her death in 1952.
The basic principle of the Montessori philosophy of education is that every child has all the potentialities of the MAN or WOMAN each can become. To best develop physical, intellectual and spiritual powers, a child must have freedom – a freedom that is achieved through order and self-discipline.
A child is born into the world of sights and sounds that, in infancy, appear chaotic. The child must gradually create order from this chaos by learning to distinguish the items that bombard his/her senses. Slowly, but surely, the child will gain self-mastery within his/her environment. Dr. Maria Montessori developed what she called the “prepared environment” which includes the concepts of freedom, structure, and order. This environment involves the presentation of the Montessori materials and the development of community life in an atmosphere that is beautiful, warm and safe.
The children engage in activities that are real rather than fanciful. Each area of the physical environment has a specific and defined order as well as a sequence.
A Montessori Class is ungraded. As a result, a child can simultaneously work with older children in one subject and with younger children in another and still have social interaction with children of their own age. This structure solves the difficult problem of skipping and retaining children who do not fit in academically with others of the same chronological age. Each individual child is not dependent upon others in his/her group for intellectual or social growth.
The Montessori concept of education allows children to experience the joy of learning at an early age. Turning Point Montessori is committed to providing a loving, safe, and secure environment in which the unfolding of your child’s potential can be nurtured. Each child’s efforts are encouraged and appreciated so that intellectual, moral, creative, and social growth flourishes.
Montessori is the approach to education, which recognizes and attempts to develop the potential of the young child. This is accomplished by means of a carefully prepared environment, directed by Montessori teachers trained by the Association Montessori International (AMI) using special teaching materials. The Montessori environment provides the opportunities whereby the child may attain inner discipline and self-management. Children develop responsibility for themselves in the context of the community while exploring all areas of learning at their own pace and according to their own interests.
These are activities which satisfy the child’s tendency to imitate and develop coordination of movement, independence, self-confidence, self care, self awareness, the social skills of grace and courtesy, awareness of and care for the environment (indoors and out of doors), problem-solving, concentration, attention, order, and positive attitudes towards learning.
These are activities for the development and refinement of the senses. The materials isolate one single physical quality from the environment (e.g. dimension, color, shape, or texture). Focusing on the use of one sense at a time (e.g. visual, auditory, tactile, etc.) enables the child to exercise and refine each sense to the utmost. This refinement is essential for the development of the mathematical mind (i.e. the ability to discriminate differences, similarities, and identities) of memory, understanding and will, (the facilities of intelligence), the imagination, and consequently the appreciation and interpretation of language and fine arts.
These are activities by means of which the child does not learn mathematics but discovers them. The child acquires the necessary skills to calculate in the decimal system and in others bases (i.e. the binary system) by exploration moving from concrete experiences to abstraction.
These are activities by which the child phonetically acquires the basic skills for complete writing and reading. At a very early age the child develops an understanding of the parts of speech, oral expression, creative writing, interpretive reading and appreciation of prose and poetry. The language program also includes what we call “keys to the cultural subjects”. Once the child is versatile in the use of all the above skills, he/she possesses the necessary tools and “keys” to explore the world of knowledge.
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