Over one hundred years ago in San Lorenzo, Rome, Maria Montessori began working with a group of disadvantaged children to help them learn and develop. What transpired was the first Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House) that grew into a worldwide educational movement for children– the Montessori pedagogy.
Through her work Dr Montessori’s realization was that: “…mankind can hope for a solution to its problems, among which the most urgent are those of peace and unity, only by turning its attention and energies to the discovery of the child and to the development of the great potentialities of the human personality in the course of its formation.”
The key tenet of Montessori is to place children at the centre of society and to assist them in becoming caring, self-motivated and fulfilled individuals who are able to create a harmonious and peaceful future for themselves and world around them.
Montessori is the single largest pedagogy in the world with over 8,000 schools on 6 continents.
From the Association Montessori Internationale
A prominent theme of the Montessori philosophy is freedom of choice with limits. Montessori teachers allow students to make their own work choices from learning materials on classroom shelves. This helps foster independence and build self-esteem. Teachers are there for guidance, to ensure students are making wise academic and behavioural choices and will give new lessons when the child is ready.