You may be asking yourself, “Who is Dr. Maria Montessori?”
Dr. Maria Montessori was born into 19th century Europe which was laden with the ideals of social inequality between young girls and boys. Due to the progressive stance of her mother Renilde Montessori she was given the encouragement and opportunity to pursue and academic education at the University of Rome and studied math, physics, and natural sciences. Maria graduated from the University of Rome After Maria Montessori graduated from the University of Rome Maria worked with mentally challenged children. Maria knew that it would take a different approach to teach these children so she re-enrolled into the University of Rome and studied psychology and philosophy. This additional education assisted Maria for what many may view as her largest contribution to the modern world the Development of the Montessori Method of education. Maria accepted a position at the Casa dei Bambini in the slums of Rome.
The children she cared for were no older then 6, and displayed behavior such as aggressiveness and uncontrollable crying. What many would have seen as insurmountable Maria saw an opportunity to learn. Maria understood each child to be a unique individual in need of order and a productive way of expressing his or herself. So that is the type of environment she created. She created materials that gave each child purpose and direction. She created work that intrigued each child and observed their daily interactions. She redesigned the rooms to make it a more comfortable environment for each child. She implemented changes such as having the chairs and tables smaller to fit the size of the children. She made the shelving at the eye level of the children.
With this system the children at Casa dei Bambini flourished. Maria documented all of the information that she learned from working with the children into what is called Maria Montessori, Her Life and Work. Maria traveled the world sharing her work and teaching the world a different, and what many have called a better way of instructing children. Maria received many awards for her teachings which include but are not limited to multiple Nobel Peace Prizes. Maria has had some type of influence in almost all educational programs of young children. Her contributions are priceless and impact on the world limitless. Maria was laid to rest on May 6, 1952. Her body may be at rest but her contributions are still in motion.
Why did Dr. Maria Montessori develop her special teaching method?
Montessori developed her method because she was distressed with the usual rigid teaching techniques used in Europe. Feeling that the young children had more potential than educators realizes; she began to develop this potential using a sensorial approach (teaching the young child through his/her natural interests in exploring the world through senses.)
What is the Montessori Method?
It is an approach to education which emphasizes the potential of the young child and which attempts to develop this potential by means of a prepared environment, utilizing specially trained teachers and special teaching materials.
Is Montessori for my child?
Rich, poor, gifted, and special children – firm a variety of cultures, from all over the world have benefited from a Montessori education. Your child will also prosper in his or her own subtle, creative way. Your child is coming to our school because you sense that it is the right time. Perhaps the toys at home no longer seem interesting. Perhaps your child is bored and needs new friends and new experiences. When your child is ready for an experience apart from you, he or she will benefit and grow in the Montessori environment.
How large are Montessori classes?
The ideal size of a Montessori class is approximately 30 students. It is important that there not be too few pupils in a class; the teacher’s job is not to “teach” in the usual sense, but to encourage the child to “learn how to learn.” We also believe in low student:teacher ratios. How can a child learn to learn if they don’t have a teacher to give them the attention they need when they need it?
At what age should a child enter Wake Forest Montessori?
We accept children beginning at 18 months -6 years of age.
What is the absorbent mind?
Montessori was so impressed with the learning ability of the young child that she called the mind of the child “the absorbent mind” (One of her books is titled The Absorbent Mind)
What are the “sensitive periods” and some examples?
The “sensitive periods” is a Montessori’s name dot age periods when the child shows unusual capabilities in acquiring particular skills. A modern name for this phenomenon might be “periods of specific maturational aptness.” For example, the sensitive period for language acquisition is birth to 18 months; writing is between 3 ½ and 4 ½ years; words leading to reading and numbers 4 and 5 years; precise movement and coordination 2 ½ to 4 years; and social graces 3 to 6 years.
What is Montessori concept of freedom?
Freedom is a goal, not a starting point. A free child (or adult) is one who has developed his potential and prefers to work out problems themselves, but is capable of asking for and receiving direction when necessary. An undisciplined and unskilled child (or adult) is not free, but is a slave to his immediate desires ands is excessively dependent on others (whether parent or teacher or wife or husband). The free child of course, grows into the free adult.
What is the Montessori concept of discipline?
The Montessori discipline is an “inner discipline” or control, which the child develops over his/her own behavior through his/her interests in the prepared environment. Montessori noted that many so called undisciplined children were really frustrated by lack of proper stimulation, and would become happier and self-controlled after a period if time in a Montessori class.
I’ve heard that Montessori is very structured. What about creativity?
Creativity is one of the most important tools a human being can develop. Each day our students expand their creative ability in a variety of disciplines. Whether they are creating something in clay during an art lesson, coming up with a new idea for a research project or improving their sketching is a particular wildflower to show its parts, the students use their imagination and creativity to build their knowledge. As teachers, we offer support and encouragement as the students try out their ideas. We supply an extensive set of materials abs activities so that the students can discover their own unique ability to create.
What about academic discipline?
A common concern about the Montessori Method centers on academic discipline. “If my child is allowed to pursue their interest in learning, I’m afraid they will do nothing but play with dinosaurs all day. I doubt is my child will learn to read or decide to study math.” At Montessori we encourage each child to study dinosaurs! But in stead of repeating what the child already knows about them, we’ll develop a curriculum around those dinosaurs.
While the child is listening to stories about how long ago they were discovered and how life developed to produce something as large as a dinosaur, your child will be learning math, science, physics, geography, history, and developing their vocabulary and artistic talent. You name it, we can make a curriculum around it, because all we need is a starting point to introduce the child to the excitement of seeing and understanding what there is to learn. The child’s imagination and joy takes it from there!
What type of social atmosphere exists in the classroom?
One of the wonderful things about Montessori is the community of trust and support we develop in the classroom. We develop this atmosphere by teaching a respect for self and, of equal importance, a respect for others. The students learn that respecting someone’s work can mean a variety of things. Sometimes it means helping another student with a challenging word problem. Sometimes it means being careful not to interrupt their progress. And sometimes it means we all choose to stop and gather together to discuss a new discovery.
In this type of environment, our students become adept at working out differences with the other students as well as being accepting, understanding and supportive of each other.
How will Montessori students adjust to more traditional school structures?
The key to the success on an adjustment or change is self-confidence. Our classrooms are set up with beautifully crafted materials, each one designed specifically to build a child’s confidence. Instead of memorizing the formula for the Pythagorean Theorem, our materials allow students to explore the relationship of the sides of right-angled triangles and actually discover the relationship for themselves.
Because the students discover this knowledge on their own, the student gains a tremendous amount of confidence in his own abilities. Word problems become clearer. Other formulas are easier t understand. Mathematics is fun! Strengthened with this confidence in their own abilities, our students adjust well to any type of school structure.
At what age Does Wake Forest Montessori begin taking children?
Wake Forest Montessori Accepts children beginning at 18 months.
Do You Accept State Issued Child Care Vouchers?
Currently we do not accept vouchers.
When can I come in for a tour or a class observation?
We allow scheduled tours Monday – Friday between 9:30 and 11:30.Please call or email for an appointment.
Schedule an Observation Tour Today.
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