LEARNING OCCURS NATURALLY
The learning environment provided at Community Montessori differs from traditional public education in that it is an environment that allows learning to occur naturally. This environment can only occur when the teacher knows the learner’s individual strengths and interests thus creating a positive, child-centered atmosphere.
Children are given the opportunity to take care of themselves, each other, and the environment—gardening, cooking, building, moving gracefully, speaking politely, doing social work in the community, etc.
In short, not only are the children learning the state-stipulated academic topics, they are
learning valuable life skills that will produce happy, competent adults. This is what educating the whole child means.
The child is given the freedom to learn at his or her own pace and in the manner that best facilitates the learning process. The result is that the child gains the confidence to know what they do well, the ability to recognize what they need to improve upon, and the freedom to accomplish their goals that best suits their individual strengths and challenges.
All concepts are interrelated. One lesson leads to many others.
Learners move from concrete work with Montessori materials to abstract understanding of advanced concepts.
Teachers present big picture concepts to provide context and work towards increasing detail.
Major themes in the curriculum are studied again at each level in greater depth and at a higher level of abstraction.
Who am I? How am I? Why am I? To what grand scheme do I belong?
Throughout time and across cultures, human beings have marveled at Creation and asked these tantalizing questions. In this way, they’re as essential to our existence as the food we eat and the air we breathe, so they ought to be central to our education.
Montessori recognized that, “The universe is an imposing reality and an
answer to all questions,” and as such, it provides the inspiration and the orientation to make learning exciting and meaningful. Not only does every “chapter” of knowledge fit into the context of the universe story, but by
coming to see ourselves as an integral part of that story, we can appreciate
the interconnected relationships that join us with every other human
being, all living organisms, the entire biosphere of the planet, and
indeed, the whole works of the cosmos.
Cosmic Education gives primacy to the inward progress of the child and, by extension, humanity itself. This type of progress requires an approach to learning that revolves around the most enticing types of questions, the likes of which will never show
up on a standardized test.
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Maria Montessori, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times, dedicated her life to creating an optimum growth environment for children. Montessori began her scientific observations of children after her graduation from the University of Rome as Italy’s first female doctor. Working first with children in asylums in Rome, Montessori discovered that by creating an environment where children were provided with materials suited to their sensitive periods of development they were able to pass the same school examinations given to “normal” children.
After these tremendous results, Montessori looked next to the children of San Lorenzo in Rome and opened a “Casa de Bambini” or Children’s House in 1907. Soon educators and visitors from far and wide arrived to observe this amazing new concept in education. This innovative educational system was founded not on the direct instruction from the teacher, but on the child’s exposure to a carefully crafted environment.
Montessori devoted her life to creating respectful learning environments for children around the world.
"We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being."
Montessori’s philosophical theories on child development have been proven time and again through current brain research. She was the first person to talk about sensitive periods of development, or “windows of opportunity”. She also emphasized the importance of movement for cognitive development. Montessori
pioneered child sized furniture - something we see as normal for today!