Updated: Sep 26, 2019
Montessori education was developed by an Italian doctor, Maria Montessori over 100 years ago.
Although qualified as a Doctor of Medicine, Maria Montessori quickly took an interest in the intellectual development of children who lived in the slums of Rome. Through her observations and combined with the views of other leading educationists of the time, she developed a philosophy that lead to outstanding results for under-privilege children. It was because of this that this was adopted for other children who equally benefitted from this revolutionary method of education.
In the early years (1 to 5 years) the children learn through the senses and the use of specially designed didactic materials that includes practical life, language, mathematics, sensorial, cultural and understanding of the world in an environment specifically prepared for the child.
In the primary and secondary years (5 to 16 years), children follow a weekly work plan which is personalised tailored to their stage of development and individual interests.
Montessori is very different to traditional education as the emphasis is on active learning as opposed to being passively taught in a typical classroom environment. The children are intrinsically motivated learners through their natural curiosity and desire to expand their knowledge. They are never held back against artificial barriers but are instead encouraged to go as far they wish on any given concept or interest.
It is through the acquisition of the Montessori skills that children are prepared for the workplace where they will need the ability to innovate, create, critically think, collaborate and be resilient to the many changes they will face in the future.
Although Montessori is now very well-established and popular form of alternative education, many of its founding attributes are now being adopted in the recent growth of progressive schools around the world whose primary purpose is to provide an education fit for the 21st century.