What is Montessori?

What is the Montessori approach?

Montessori is an approach and philosophy of education developed by Maria Montessori. It is an approach to education that focuses on hands on learning where early years educators follow the individual needs of each child. This includes creating a favourable environment, such as freedom of movement, ordered environment and the use of Montessori learning materials. 

Curriculum Information Booklet for Parents

Who was Maria Montessori?

Maria Montessori was an Italian doctor and the first woman to study medicine at the University of Rome medical school. In 1896 she became one of the first female doctors in Italy. She then became a very important educator of the 20th century. Through close observation of children and following the work of Itard and Sequin,  Montessori was able to develop sensorial hands on learning materials and an approach and philosophy to education that is holistic and child centred. She believed that the child’s early years from birth to age six is the period when children have a huge capacity to learn. She observed that children learned best when they can have freedom of movement and use their hands and other senses when exploring materials and objects.

From 1939, Maria Montessori spent 7 years in India, where she met Ghandi, this is where she developed her philosophy regarding Cosmic Education, where children learn about the interconnectedness of all things through a curriculum rich in developing knowledge and understanding of the world. The ‘Great Lessons of Cosmic Education’ include the subjects of history, geography, science and biology and the interconnectedness of these subjects teach children about the importance of the diversity of our world and a moral responsibility to address global issues that affect humankind and the environment. This connects closely today with sustainable education and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations.