The Montessori Philosphy?
Dr Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952) was a scientist, doctor and advocate for the rights of children. Twice nominated for a Nobel Prize for contribution to world peace, she was the first woman to graduate from a university in Italy, obtaining a degree in Medicine.
After graduation, Dr Montessori became director of a school for intellectually disabled children, where she developed a deep interest in the needs of children with learning difficulties. Soon after she began advocating that the lack of support for mentally and developmentally disable children was the cause of their delinquency, which was quite controversial at the time.
Dr Montessori ‘s work with these children saw remarkable results, and she began to wonder what was possible, using similar methods, which children who did not have such difficulties. She went on to study educational philosophy, anthropology and psychology and became a lecturer at the Pedagogic School of the University of Rome.
In 1907 she opened the first Casa Dei Bambini (Children’s House) and brought the educational materials she had developed to a group of pre-school children from the slum of Rome. Through her observations and work with these children she discovered their astonishing, almost effortless, ability to learn.
Children taught themselves! This simple but profound truth formed the cornerstone of her life-long pursuit of educational reform.
Dr Maria Montessori discovered that children learn best if they are given:
- A prepared environment, for practicing the skills they need, prepared by
the teacher using scientifically designed materials.
- The opportunity to follow their natural curiosity.
- An environment of love, security, respect and order.
- Tasks appropriate to their level of development to scaffold them to the
next level on the learning continuum.
Happy children make the best learners!
Montessori Curriculum in Australia
ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority) have advised that the Montessori National Curriculum aligns with the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, meets the particular principles and guidelines in relation to the Shape of the Australian Curriculum V3 Dec 2010, and allows for broadly comparable educational outcomes in English, Mathematics, Science and History by the end of Year 10.
The recognition is almost completely unqualified and further acknowledges our different approach to learning, the different approach to ICT in the early years, that our history program begins with the universe following through human civilisations to the local level, and notes the role of Montessori materials and activities in delivering the curriculum.