“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate each child’s own natural desire to learn.”
– Maria Montessori
The goal of the Pinetree Montessori School is to nurture the curiosity, creativity, and imagination born within us all, to awaken the human spirit of every child, to celebrate the diversity of our community, and to approach each child as an individual while inspiring a passion for excellence and lifelong love of learning.
The Montessori Method of education is designed “to help the children to help themselves, so that they may develop the fullness of their individual human potential through independence, inner discipline and discovery.”
The aims of the Pinetree Montessori Directress are to help the child acquire: self-confidence, self-motivation and independence, the right to activity and the right to explore the world though senses and movement.
The Montessori Philosophy
The Montessori approach to teaching and learning include the following:
Children are capable of self-directed learning. It is critically important for the teacher to be an ‘observer’ of the child instead of a lecturer. This observation of the child interacting with his or her environment is the basis for the continuing presentation of new material and avenues of learning. Presentation of subsequent exercises for skill development and information accumulation are based on the teacher’s observation that the child has mastered the current exercise(s).
There are numerous ‘sensitive periods’ of development (periods of a few weeks or even months), during which a child’s mind is particularly open to learning specific skills or knowledge such as crawling, sitting, walking, talking, reading, counting, and various levels of social interaction. These skills are learned effortlessly and joyfully. Learning one of these skills outside of the corresponding sensitive period is certainly possible, but can be difficult and frustrating.
Children have an “absorbent mind” from birth to around age 6, possessing limitless motivation to achieve competence within their environment and to perfect skills and understandings. This phenomenon is characterized by the young child’s capacity for repetition of activities within sensitive period categories, such as exhaustive babbling as language practice leads to language competence.
Children are masters of their school room environment, which has been specifically prepared for them to be academic, comfortable, and to encourage independence by giving them the tools and responsibility to manage its upkeep.
Children learn through discovery, so didactic materials with a control for error are used. Through the use of these materials, which are specific to Montessori schools (sets of letters, blocks and science experiments) children learn to correct their own mistakes instead of relying on a teacher to give them the correct answer.
Children most often learn alone during periods of intense concentration. During these self-chosen and spontaneous periods, the child is not to be interrupted by the teacher.
The hand is intimately connected to the developing brain in children. Children must actually touch the shapes, letters, temperatures, etc. they are learning about—not just watch a teacher or TV screen tell them about these discoveries.