Updated: Jul 9
Do you know what Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, Prince William, Prince Harry, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Helen Keller, Yo Yo Ma, and Taylor Swift have in common? They all attended Montessori School. What is the magic of Montessori school? How does Montessori school develop students’ talents and maximize their potential?
Anisa Foy, Advisor, Arborland Montessori Children’s Academy
The principles of a Montessori Education:
Montessori education is based on the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian doctor of medicine who studied the child very closely, and based her theories on observing children over a number of years. Being a scientist all her observations were based on facts she observed first hand. Her research led her to some startling conclusions, conclusions that are generally adopted by educators today, but were considered revolutionary in her time over a hundred years ago.
Central elements of the Montessori philosophy:
1. All children are born with a preconditioned desire to gain knowledge, become independent, and become a part of the society they are born into.
2. Children are born with an ability to absorb what they see and hear everything around them almost immediately from birth. Though unaware of it, all these ideas are absorbed at random and stored in what Montessori termed “the unconscious mind”
3. At around age two and half, the child has the ability to start categorizing and classifying all these stored impressions, and use it for the learning process. Therefore the best suggested time to start a formal education would be at this age. The child is ready to move ideas stored from the “unconscious” to the conscious mind.
4. The child is born with the ability to learn any language, and is able to pick up more than only one language.
5. There are several different “sensitive periods” for learning up to age six. Educators today call these “windows of opportunity.” during a sensitive period the child is drawn to an activity of learning and repeats the activity till it is mastered, and then moves on to another activity of learning. There are sensitive periods for accepted rules of ones culture, numbers, spatial ideas, development of all five senses and language. All these sensitive periods are very active between the ages of two and half to six and then start to wane.
6. The child goes through different planes of development, from 3 to 6, 6 to 9 and 9 to 12. During each of these planes the child exhibits different attributes and needs a different approach.