Montessori is an approach to working with children that is carefully based on what has been learned about children’s cognitive, neurological and emotional development. The Montessori approach has been acclaimed by some of America’s top experts on early childhood and elementary education as the most developmentally appropriate model currently available. The Montessori method focuses on teaching for understanding. Active learning through hands-on activities and exercises rather than “book learning” is emphasized in order to encourage the development of the creative and analytical mind.
At Wake Forest Montessori, our primary goal for the child is to cultivate his/her own natural desire to learn. In the classroom this is approached in two ways. Each child is able to experience the excitement of learning through his/her own choice of lesson rather than being forced to do something. Secondly by helping the child to perfect his/her natural tools for learning, which can be used in future learning situations.
Dr. Montessori always emphasized that the hand is the chief teacher of the child. In order to learn how to concentrate, the best solution is to fix the attention of the child on a task performed by his hands. All equipment in a Montessori classroom allows a child to use his hands in the learning process. The tactile and kinesthetic system of learning permanently reinforces the skill to be learned – ‘muscular memory’ is a strong tool in the learning process.