5200 Paradise Drive
Corte Madera, CA 94925
"Education is a natural process spontaneously carried out
by the individual and is acquired not by listening to words
but by experiences upon the environment."
Dr. Maria Montessori was born in Italy on August 31, 1870.
She was the first woman to graduate with a doctorate in medicine
from the University of Rome, specializing in pediatrics and psychiatry.
At the turn of the century, she began a process that would have worldwide
implications and would change the course of education. She discarded old
prejudices regarding children and set out to establish a scientific approach to
education, one based on careful observation of children in many different
countries, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds. In addition, she
established a philosophy that sought to integrate the social and economic
experiences of a child, therefore, leading them toward unified growth and
independence. Her philosophy reflects her deep respect for children and her
trust in their ability to be active participants in their own education, ultimately
enabling them one day to be active participants in world peace.
Dr. Maria Montessori died on May 6, 1952, at the age of eight-one. She gave the world a better understanding that
children learn best at their own pace and in a happy, orderly environment that allows them the freedom to control
their own activities. Numerous contemporary educational and cognitive development experts have validated Dr.
Montessori's research. Those who studied under Dr. Montessori and went on to make their own contributions to
education and child psychology include Anna Freud, Jean Piaget, Alfred Adler, and Erik Erikson.
The goal of Montessori education is to nurture each
child's whole development Ã¢â‚¬â€œ socially, personally, and
intellectually -- to his/her greatest potential.
This substantial goal requires years of developmental
support. During the child's 4 to 5 year experience in the
Toddler and Primary levels (ages 18 months Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 6 years old),
seeds of development begin to take root and each child
becomes uniquely prepared to enter our Elementary level.
During the child's Lower Elementary years (ages 6 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 9
years old), each child's development grows exponentially,
culminating in Upper Elementary children (ages 9 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 12
years old) who blossom. Our graduates are not only well
prepared to succeed in later education; they are unusually
prepared to succeed in life in general.
Within our goal, Montessori education emphasizes the
development of internalized behaviors or Ã¢â‚¬Å“inner controlsÃ¢â‚¬Â?
Ã¢â‚¬â€œ children who self-direct, self-discipline, self-motivate,
These children take charge of their education resulting in a
lifetime of learning. They do not wait for external approval
and evaluation to feel good about the quality of their work
as they are fully capable of taking responsibility for
themselves, others and their environment because they
believe it's the appropriate way to live.
Montessori education achieves these goals, by supporting the following truths about learning, which are
based on scientific observation.
Children have particular needs, many of which vary according to their developmental stage (planes of
development.)For example, all children need an ordered, loving environment. They all must do things
themselves to learn best how to do it. They all also need respect as capable, independent workers.
Additionally, Primary children need real learning experiences for their absorbent mind and they need
opportunities to build skills when they are most able and willing to learn (sensitive periods). Elementary
children need opportunities to use and challenge their reasoning minds and imaginations. They also need
opportunities to collaborate and discover what is Ã¢â‚¬Å“rightÃ¢â‚¬Â? and Ã¢â‚¬Å“wrongÃ¢â‚¬Â?. Montessori education provides what
children need when they need it. This supports each child's optimal development.
Each child has natural abilities -- strengths and challenges.
Montessori education assures that children learn all the Ã¢â‚¬Å“necessaryÃ¢â‚¬Â? information for success in future
schooling, while giving them the opportunity to develop optimally both their individual strengths and gain
coping skills to work with their challenges.
Each child learns best at his/her own style and pace.
Montessori provides the opportunity to learn from different senses and with different approaches.
Additionally, multi-age classrooms naturally allow children to develop at their own pace without stigma both
for advanced learners and learners with particular challenges.
Learning ultimately belongs to each child.
Each child ultimately determines what to learn (not memorize and forget), who to become, and how to fit
into society. Each child learns best what he/she wants to learn. Montessori education creates an
environment where children want to learn -- this supports optimal individual learning.
Excerpted from the preschool's website