Dr. Maria Montessori was born on August 31st, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Ancona, Italy. Growing up, Dr. Maria Montessori faced and witnessed many social problems within her surroundings. Because of this, she developed a personal conviction that change is possible. As Dr. Maria Montessori got older, she went to school for engineering, which was oddly unusual at that time for a girl. As Dr. Maria Montessori was in school, she started to consider changing her path to teaching as a career choice in which she enrolled herself at the University of Rome to study physics, math, and sciences.
In 1896, Dr. Maria Montessori became the first female doctor in Italy. As the years went on, Dr. Maria Montessori continued to expand her knowledge and lectured on the importance of educating children with learning disabilities. She becomes a member of the National League for the Education of disabled children. A couple of years following this event, on January 6th, 1907, Dr. Maria Montessori opened up the first-ever Casa dei Bambini in San Lorenzo, Italy which was a Montessori School.
The Montessori Preschool Environment:
The Prepared Environment
In the Physical Environment, you will find:
- Child-Sized materials/shelving
- Real Life Materials
- Materials that provide opportunities for success
- Safe & Calm Environment
- Develop Independence
- Materials are purposeful
- Stimulating Environment
“The first duty of an educator: to stir up life but leave it free to develop.” (Dr. Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child, pg. 111)
The Three S’ in Montessori Education
The 3 S’ apply to the words – Saint, Servant, Scientist. These are the 3 major characteristics of Montessori teachers. They need to be a scientist since they need to know how to educate a child. They are a servant since they need to be able to support the child in what they want to do. And a saint, since they need to eliminate ego and temper to develop patience and humility.
The teachers have to be observers of the child, in order to understand how the child views the world and how they feel about their environment. Some principles that the Montessori teachers need to embody are:
- They are the Keeper/Custodian of the Environment
- They respect each child individually
- They need to be able to entice the new children to work
- They need to be consistent
- Be patient & kind
- They need to understand how to manage behavior
- They also need to be humble & creative
Attractive Material: Materials in a Montessori classroom are very unique and drive curiosity. The principles defining Montessori materials include:
- A lot of the materials come from real life to enable children to learn how to fulfill human needs
- There is an outcome within each activity
- The materials are colour coded
- They are attractive and complete
- The materials are also displayed attractively in a classroom and make it look inviting
- There is also a limited number of materials, so children are not confused
- The materials Call to the child
- They are also Self-Correcting
Montessori School: Areas in a Montessori classroom (CASA)
Inside the Casa classroom, you will find different learning areas for the children to choose from.
- Practical Life: This the most important area of the classroom. The activities are purposeful and make it easier for a child to transition into a classroom. They are based on activities at home and make children great helpers in the house.
- Sensorial: This area promotes the development and refinement of the sense. Students practice these activities with the focus on visual and taste perception, tactile impression, stereo gnostic, and olfactory senses. It enables them to move and order and they are visually very colorful and beautiful.
- Language: There is a strong link between the period of language development and social interaction. This area focuses on listening, speaking, writing, reading. The materials and environment encourage language development for the children in the classroom.
- Math: In this area, concepts are introduced to the child using concrete sensorial materials. Initial exploration with sensorial materials encourages children to understand basic math concepts such as learning number recognition counting and sequencing of numbers.
- Culture: This area of the classroom is focused on the exploration of the world. The materials and activities are catered to the child exploring diversity, their community, and background. The areas of geography, science, zoology, botany are all presented. The children also learn about the universe and their environment and expand their knowledge.
If you are looking for a Montessori preschool near you, SimplySmart childcare center & Montessori is a Montessori daycare since it includes before and after school care & is open all year round while providing Montessori Education to children. Fresh catered meals are provided on-site and we have our own SimplySmart App which gives you full information on your child’s day and their learning, as well as developmental and progress reports.
Montessori, M (1995). The absorbent mind. New York: Henry Holt Paperbacks.
Montessori, M (1991). The advanced montessori method. England: CLIO Press
Montessori, M (1976). The discovery of the child. The United States: Ballantine Books.
Montessori, M (1972). The secret if childhood. New York: Ballantine Books
Glasgow, P. (“n.d”). Three hour work cycle [Class handout]. North York, ON: Montessori Teachers College, EC Diploma.
Facchini, D. (2018). Freedom and independence in the prepared environment [Class handout]. North York, ON: Montessori Teachers College, EC Diploma.
Facchini, D. (2018). The history of dr. maria montessori [Class handout]. North York, ON: Montessori Teachers College, EC Diploma.
Facchini, D. (2018). The three hour work cycle [Class handout]. North York, ON: Montessori Teachers College, EC Diploma.
Facchini, D. (“n.d”). The prepared environment [Class handout]. North York, ON: Montessori Teachers College, EC Diploma.
Facchini, D. (“n.d”). The preparation of the montessori teacher [Class handout]. North York, ON: Montessori Teachers College, EC Diploma.
Facchini, D. (“n.d”). Curriculum areas, practical life, sensorial, language, arithmetic, culture [Class handouts]. North York, ON: Montessori Teachers College, EC Diploma.