About Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician by training, spent numerous years observing and working with children. Building on the ideas of others who worked with children (i.e., Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard, Edouard Séguin, Johann Pestalozzi, and Friedrich Froebel), she established her own ideas, materials and methods.
Beginning in the early 1900s and for the following 50 years she strived to refine her method and developed a stimulating and encouraging program where children learn skills needed to become independent, responsible, and productive individuals.
The over 100 years of success of the Montessori method has encouraged many educators to adopt and carry her method globally. Her work impacted early childhood education astonishingly and forever.


The Montessori method embraces the following major focuses

  • Begin educating children at age three or earlier. This is based on Montessori’s concept of the absorbent mind, the time from birth to age 6, when children absorb astonishing amounts of knowledge from their surroundings. In the process, children develop language skills, gain motor and cognitive abilities, and acquire an understanding of how others should treat them.
  • Observe children closely to determine sensitive periods. During these periods children are most ready and willing to learn specific skills. Thus, if given the opportunity, children put their entire energy on carrying out activities that develop those skills. Montessori materials are very important during children’s sensitive periods because each material is meant to meet specific educational goals and skills. Sensitive periods can last for months or years, and they can stop just as suddenly as they started.
  • Carefully deign children’s learning environment to facilitate their learning. This reflects Montessori’s ideas about the prepared environment. An environment that exudes beauty, order, simplicity, and provides age appropriate activities for learning. Mixed-age groups are at the heart of the Montessori method. Using this technique younger children learn from their older peers and get encouraged to advance their work to get to their levels. Meanwhile older children not only act as mentors, but also reinforce their learning by teaching already mastered concepts to younger children.
  • Frequently provide children with opportunities to practice motor skills and control of movement. Use practical life activities to build foundation for the development of independence, confidence, and sense of community. These activities include tasks children are familiar with, or have seen their parents do at home. They involve an increasingly challenging series of motor skills tasks that involve practical life goals.
  • Give children the opportunity to correct their own work. Control of Error is a method of self-correction that is built into the Montessori materials and lessons. Rather than relying on adults to point out or correct their mistake, children are given the opportunity to learn by correcting their own work.

Individualized System

In order to foster a greater desire to learn, children are given the freedom to choose activities that spark their curiosity the most. Our teachers will ensure that the activities chosen are at each child’s level of understanding and ability, while simultaneously allowing them to be the driving force in the decision making process. Children will never be pressured to partake in activities they have not chosen. By allowing such freedom of choice, children build the confidence to explore a variety of activities and components of the curriculum.

Child-Centered Approach

Contrary to the traditional teacher-driven programs, it is each child who sets the pace for his/her learning. Our experienced teachers will merely mentor and guide children in the right direction.

Children are encouraged to move around the classroom space to explore the various learning areas, rather than being restricted to sitting at desks. This technique promotes children’s eagerness to learn.

Specifically Designed Materials

The materials used successfully in classrooms today are mainly the ones designed by Doctor Montessori herself. Montessori Materials have a few common aspects:

Isolating properties: Each Montessori material teaches one property at a time. For instance, when learning about colour, the colour tablets the child works with are identical in every single way except for colour.

Working form simple to complex: Montessori materials must be worked on in a specific order, from simple to complex.

Displaying materials: Materials in every classroom are carefully planned, chosen, and displayed. For instance, materials are placed on child-sized open shelves from left to right, top to bottom, and from simple to most complex. Only the materials teachers know children are ready to use are displayed.

Delineating the work area: Children either work at tables or on mats on the floor. If children choose to work on the floor, mats are used to help children stay organized with defined workspace.

Control of Error: Montessori Materials provide quick feedback to children. This helps them understand when they have made a mistake and allows for self-correction.

Classroom Setup

The classrooms are set up in such a way that facilitates children’s exploration and independent learning. All furniture and shelves are child-sized and light weight, giving children the ability to move them around on their own. This gives children a sense of autonomy and confidence. Classrooms are light, airy, and welcoming. Meanwhile, they provide ample space for children to move freely and comfortably. Classrooms are kept organized and uncluttered by both children and teachers, promoting concentration and learning.