Montessori Education

There is a lot of great innovation in early childhood education, so I think that the nursery school element of this intergenerational care community could be designed after many possible educational models. However, I find that the Montessori educational model is a particularly excellent one. The system was created by Maria Montessori who opened her first school in 1907 where she began her recorded observations of the children and the best practices for their development. These are some of the distinct features of the Montessori educational model:

• Children are allowed to choose freely, which innately leads them to select the activities that challenge them at the level they are ready to manage

• Children are encouraged to work things out on their own

• Mixed age classrooms (2 ½ up to 6 years) – children learn by teaching each other

• The classroom environment is orderly

• Objects are made of real materials that attract the child and develop touching sensitivity

• Children use all their senses to learn and to promote their development

• Teachers don’t “teach”- they are directors/directresses who show how and then observe and facilitate

Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to do it and do not say a word. If you tell them, they will watch your lips move. If you show them, they will want to do it themselves.

– Maria Montessori