What is the Montessori System all about?

Montessori is a philosophy of life with pedagogical applications based on the observations and insights of the Italian physician, Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952). Through her observations of children all over the world, Dr. Montessori discerned universal patterns of human development, expressed naturally and spontaneously in all children regardless of their cultural background. She created an educational approach based on these natural patterns and grounded in a profound respect for all life. Over the past one hundred years, children throughout the world have benefited from this educational approach.

Montessori educational environments are prepared for different stages of a child’s life. Each material supports some aspect of the child’s development during a specific stage, creating a match between the child’s natural interests and the available activities. Because of this match, children can learn through their own experience, responding at any moment to the natural interests and curiosities that exist in all humans and building a solid foundation for life-long learning. Each child’s individualized activity, however, occurs within a community of children and many spontaneous social interactions occur throughout the day. Through these interactions, a child learns many valuable social skills and experiences the benefits of community life.

Montessori education continues to flourish throughout the world because it builds on what is natural – on those aspects of the child which are universal. When these unchanging aspects of their development are assisted, children grow as strong individuals, equipped to adapt to the changing conditions of the world around them – Ready to make their unique contribution to life in all its forms.

Who takes it?

Montessori education attracts candidates from many backgrounds, varying in age from college students to retirees.

  • Some have always had the goal of becoming Montessori teachers, occasionally inspired by their own experience as a ‘Montessori child’.
  • Others have been attracted to the teaching profession but were disappointed and discouraged by experiences in conventional forms of education. Discovering Montessori education re-kindled their vision, inspiring them again to pursue work as an educator.
  • For many applicants Montessori teacher education represents a complete change in their professional goals – perhaps stimulated by their own experiences as a parent, relative or friend of children.
  • Applicants come from a wide variety of career backgrounds – such as sales, engineering, business management, mental health, social work, architecture, homemaking and even medicine.

Whatever their background or age all share a common desire to find work which is personally fulfilling while making a positive difference in the world. And all find their previous knowledge and experience uniquely valuable in support of the Montessori vision of Education for Life.