The “Whole Child” Approach
A primary goal of a Montessori program is to help each child reach full potential in his/her physical, emotional, social and cognitive needs. The Montessori curriculum provides the resources and atmosphere for exploration and discovery, allows students to experience the joy of learning, promotes the development of self-esteem, and fosters respect for one’s self, for others, and for the environment.
The “Prepared Environment”
In order for self-directed learning to take place, the whole learning environment—room, materials, and social climate—must be supportive of the learner. The teacher provides opportunities for children to function in a safe and positive climate. The teacher thus gains the children’s trust, which enables them to try new things with success, building self-confidence.
The Montessori Materials
Dr. Maria Montessori’s observations of activities children enjoyed and repeated led her to design a number of multisensory, sequential, and self-correcting materials that facilitate the learning of isolated skills and abstract ideas.
The specially trained Montessori teacher functions as a facilitator of learning. As such, he/she is a designer of the environment, resource person, guide, role model, demonstrator, and meticulous observer and recorder of each student’s behavior and growth.