“The child is endowed with an inner power which can guide us to a more luminous future.”
– Maria Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was one of the world’s greatest educators and a pioneer in early childhood education. Realizing that all children develop and learn at their own pace, Dr. Montessori’s methods are based upon respect for the individual. “I studied my children and they taught me how to teach them.” She discovered that “the child under the age of six has a great capacity for learning.” Through the development of special learning materials for very young children, four and five year olds were allowed to explore their interests in innovative ways.
She believed that the learning environment was just as important as learning itself. Her schools were peaceful places, where the children valued their space for concentration and discovery. Through well-stocked classrooms that encouraged gross and fine motor development; language, math, geography, science, and art skills, Dr. Montessori believed children would direct their own learning, to ultimately form a whole person.
Today, the Montessori Method of education is recognized around the world for its success in the education of young children. Implemented on six continents, there are approximately 5,000 private and 200 public Montessori schools in North America alone.