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Montessori > Philosophy

Maria Montessori believed that each child is born with a unique potential to be revealed, rather than as a "blank slate" waiting to be written upon. Her major ideas that define her philosophy are represented by the following beliefs:

  • Education starts at birth;

  • That education embraces the theme of “Cosmic Education” which is understanding how everything is connected and responsible to the whole;

  • A child has inherent capacities that need to be nurtured and respected;

  • That each human is born with a responsibility to give back to the universe;

  • Personal growth comes from activity not from just intellectual understanding;

  • The necessity of preparing  the most natural and life-supporting environments for the child;

  • The belief in the idea that children want to help themselves;

  • Understanding that the child passes through 4 phases of development each corresponding to specific tendencies;

  • The importance of helping the child by observing him/her living freely in a prepared environment;

  • Continually adapting the environment in order that the child may fulfill his or her greatest potential, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually;

  • The real preparation for education is the study of one’s self;

  • Believing that consciousness of one’s own dignity results in freedom;

  • Self-discipline must come from within not imposed by an external force;

  • Children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth;

  • Children learn best by doing and seeing and working with ‘real’ things;

  • Children of different ages enjoy helping one another;

One can see how child centered her philosophy is with the defining feature of respect.  Maria Montessori was a forerunner of many of our ideas today regarding child development and needs and with her many years of experimenting, observing, adapting, creating, we can now offer our children what we know is helpful and dignified in their advancement as noble human beings.

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