Dr. maria montessori (1870-1952)
Dr. Maria Montessori, a pioneer in the field of education and Italy’s first female physician, was years ahead of her time in creating her world-renowned method of education.
Montessori was the first educator to introduce child-sized furniture and objects and to allow the children to be active agents in their own learning. She was also one of the first people who understood the importance of hands-on learning in early childhood and believed in capitalizing on children’s developmental “sensitive periods”, understanding that children will thrive if placed in the right environment.
Inspired by a period of time she spent in India, Dr. Montessori also believed that children should be educated on “Cosmic Education”—that all living things on earth are interconnected and can coexist. She was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Children in Montessori schools across the world are educated on the concept of peace and do their best to help create a more peaceful world.
Principles of Montessori Education
Love of Repetition
Children are allowed to repeat an activity as many times as they wish.
Love of Order
Everything in the classroom is carefully prepared for the child to succeed.
Freedom of Choice
Children are able to freely choose their own work, sometimes guided by a teacher.
Work over Play
We call our activities at school “work” instead of “play”. As Dr. Montessori said, “Play is the work of the child.”
Hands On Learning
All activities in the classroom are designed especially for the child to manipulate.
Self-Education and Spontaneous Self-Discipline
Montessori teachers are often called “guides” because it is their job to observe the child and guide them toward certain activities. The teacher gives the initial lesson and support when needed.
No Rewards and Punishments
Children in a Montessori environment are intrinsically motivated by the materials and activities.
Love of Silence and Cosmic Education
The Silence Game is a crucial Montessori activity.
our montessori culture
We prioritize being outdoors in nature. In Summer 2018, we installed our nature-based play space. We look at this space as an extension of the classroom. We will go outside in (almost) all weather conditions.
We respect all living things, with special regard for plants and animals outside. We redirect children if we see them pulling leaves off trees or stepping on insects.
We practice peace and mindfulness. We continuously strive to create a peaceful world filled with peaceful people at Kinderhaus. We use The Kindness Curriculum from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which gives the children the opportunity to cultivate a mindfulness practice rooted in kindness and friendship. We work with the children each day in solving conflict peacefully through verbal conversation rather than physical aggression.
Birthdays are sacred. We honor the day a child was born by telling the story of their life as they walk around the sun (a battery-operated candle or sun model), holding a globe (the earth) for each year they have been alive.
our montessori values
Respect: Self-respect, respect for others, tolerance, honesty, integrity, and responsibility.
Compassion: Concern for one another and for humanity, kindness, peacefulness, understanding, acceptance, and warmth.
Love of Learning: Discovery, exploration, working together, curiosity, and ownership.
Independence: Doing for oneself and understanding one’s own capabilities.
Interdependence: Responsibility to and a healthy dependence upon one another, and a love of community.
Excellence: Quality in all that we do to serve the children, and the cultivation in the pursuit of excellence within our students.
Universal Understanding: A global perspective, and an understanding of being part of something bigger than oneself.
Montessori has been shown to increase socio-emotional and executive function skills in young children (Lillard A. S., Mindfulness Practices in Education: Montessori's Approach, 2011).
Montessori preschool may elevate child outcomes in several ways, including academic achievement, mastery orientation, and social understanding. Montessori education improves these areas in children regardless of race, class, gender, and other life circumstances. In other words, Montessori has the potential to eliminate the opportunity gap that we see across the United States. The results of the study also suggested that Montessori children also had a more positive relationship with learning and school as a whole (Lillard, et al., 2017).
A 2010 study showed Montessori children to be more independent in their problem-solving skills, have a more positive affect and better self-regulation skills, check their own learning, and appear to be more intrinsically-motivated compared to children attending a traditional school. (Ervin, Wash, & Mecca, 2010).