The true magic of Montessori
With the end of the year fast approaching it’s nice to share an inspirational piece demonstrating the true magic of Montessori. We are delighted to share a true insight from one of our dedicated early years tutors Jacinta Murphy at Portobello Institute.
The Montessori philosophy is based on the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) whose holistic vision of education has a focus on the cognitive, social, emotional and physical needs of the child. Montessori education is ultimately preparation for life and it fosters a love of learning and seeks to educate children to be caring and socially responsible citizens.
The Montessori approach is based on respect for the uniqueness of each individual child. All families and children are valued for their uniqueness and sense of wellbeing, where identity and belonging is fostered in a safe, accepting and respectful environment learning together, honouring and embracing our humanity.
The Montessori Method is centred on observation and aids the holistic development of each child, while placing emphasis on freedom within a carefully prepared environment. The children are vertically grouped (2.5- 6yrs) as this is more beneficial for the children.
One true example is shown in the continuity of returning to the same room for the second year which builds a strong class community, for children, teachers and parents alike. A second is shown whereby the older children in each group are positive peer models for their younger classmates, assuming positions of responsibility that further strengthen their own capabilities and self-esteem. This gives children a readiness to meet new challenges.
The environment is non-competitive, ordered and carefully prepared to ignite the child’s interest in materials in life skills, sensorial education, literacy, numeracy and cultural activities.
The development of independence, self-esteem, motor skills, socials and cognitive skills is fostered through respectful relationships and interactions. Each activity or exercise starts with knowledge the child already possesses before leading him or her on to more complex activities. The materials are introduced to the child as they show an interest and a willingness.
Artwork is undertaken in a way that will nurture the child’s own creativity and expression. In a Montessori environment, you will hear the child referring to their ‘work’. Montessori philosophy states, ‘Play is the work of the child’, and Maria Montessori believed that children must be provided with real materials, real tasks and real work. Typically, children are usually excited and energised by their work, as they achieve a deep satisfaction through the joy of the process rather than the end result; they repeat activities until their inner needs are fulfilled which aids the growth and development of personality.