Perth Individual Education
WHAT IS A MONTESSORI EDUCATION?
Montessori education is a method of early childhood learning founded on Dr Maria Montessori’s knowledge of children’s’ development of the body and mind.
Dr Montessori (1870 – 1952) was a person of great depth and insight. She was Italy’s first female doctor before stepping into the field for which she is renowned – early childhood education. She was an ambassador for world peace with the UNICEF Charter of Human Rights, and the Rights of the CHILD were adopted directly from her.
Her deep commitment to children led her to become a champion in the research and development of their education. Dr Montessori concluded that children have a natural love of life and learning which needs to be nurtured, not taken for granted. She believed that the goal of education should not be to fill children with facts but to cultivate and nurture the natural desire children have to learn.
The philosophy was put into practice in her first Montessori school in Rome in 1907 and has become her legacy to the children in the thousands of Montessori schools worldwide today.
THE MONTESSORI METHOD
There is no mystery to the Montessori approach. It is scientific and an education for parent and child alike. Children have a natural love of learning. The Montessori Way is simply that education begins at birth and that during the first six years of life, the child’s power of learning absorption is at its highest.
Essentially, education should be an ‘aid to life’ – a means of fulfilling our human potential.
Montessori education is centred on the child, with the primary role of the Montessori Director (teacher), as a guide. They are facilitators in the process of learning. The Montessori Director presents the information to the child in a climate of mutual respect. By following and observing the child, the Montessori Director can recognise and respond to each child’s individual needs.
In a Montessori learning environment, we nurture the development of traits such as self-esteem, tolerance, mutual respect and concern for others.
When you enter Perth Individual, the first thing that parents notice is the secure and harmonious environment. This environment is key to developing the children’s sense of well-being. Perth Individual has no ethnic or religious boundaries. The College is multi-denominational and celebrates diversity while recognising that the education of our children is fundamental and should be accessible to all.
THE MONTESSORI DIRECTOR
Dr Maria Montessori chose the name ‘Director’ as a Montessori teacher is predominantly a facilitator and guide.
The principle of Montessori education is respect for the child in the learning process. It is as much an acute understanding of how children acquire knowledge, as it is helping them to discover and understand.
Montessori Directors regard themselves as facilitators who present knowledge, concepts and understandings at the right stage in the child’s development.
They are patient and encouraging people who place great importance in preserving the child’s self-esteem in a non-competitive classroom environment and will not compare students against each other. The believe that each child is an individual with unique abilities and gifts.
Montessori Directors work with the children individually or in small groups and are empathetic and proactive to students’ learning needs. This learning model enables each child and parent to see his or her demonstrative academic progress and intellectual development.
A Montessori Director requires further specialised Montessori studies over and above the standard Bachelor of Education for teachers in Australia. Above all, they have respect for children as individuals and their potential to learn.
MONTESSORI SUGGESTED READING
The following is a reference list, which includes books written by Dr Montessori. These books are available at most public libraries.
- Basic Montessori Learning Activities for under Fives, David Gettman.
- The Child in the Family, Dr Maria Montessori.
- Discovery of the Child, Dr Maria Montessori.
- The Montessori Method, Dr Maria Montessori.
- Montessori: A Modern Approach, Paula Polk Lillard.
- Montessori Today, A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood, Paula Polk Lillard.
- The Montessori Controversy, John Chattin-McNichols.
- Our Peaceful Classroom, Aline D. Wolf.
- A Parents’ Guide to the Montessori Classroom, Aline D. Wolf.
Cultivate and nurture the natural desire children have to learn