The founder of Montessori philosophy, Dr. Maria Montessori, believed that education is a self-initiated process that occurs when a child is placed in an environment that cultivates the human desire to learn. Therefore, the major objective of education should be to nurture the natural curiosity and love for knowledge that exists within each child.
In the Montessori classroom, children become masters of their own education as they are permitted to choose learning materials and experiences for themselves. Each child is guided to perfect his/her intrinsic learning capabilities through concrete experience with the subject being investigated.
The Montesori Method is based on a philosophy that encourages each individual child to develop at his or her own pace, within a safe, caring and well-ordered environment. After introduction by the teachers to the material, the children have the freedom to choose their work, as all the equipment is placed at the child's eye-level and all furniture in the classroom is child-sized.
Once the children feel safe, all their energies can be focused on exploring the materials and experiences which have been designed to develop them intellectually, physically, and psychologically. Each child has an individual map or "blue-print" that governs its personal capacity and speed of learning. All the Montessori materials and methods have been carefully designed to allow each child to progress at their own rate, spending a personally appropriate amount of time with each stage of development.
There are five main areas of concentration in the Montessori Method: Practical Life, Sensorial, Reading and Writing, Arithmetic and Cultural Subjects. Cultural Subjects, encompassing history, geography, music and art, particularly stimulate the imagination of children, engendering a constructive curiosity about their world that will last them a lifetime.