THOUGHT AND MOVEMENT:
They are closely linked. Movement bolsters thinking and learning.
Learning and wellbeing improve when children can choose and feel they have control over their lives. Independence, will and responsibility develop.
The child learns best when he/she is interested in what he/she is learning. It helps understanding and concentration.
The discovery of the error and the sense of achievement are internal. This contributes to self-esteem, the sense of responsibility and critical thinking.
Learning is enhanced with the practice of teaching others. It foments respect, tolerance and solidarity.
LEARNING IN CONTEXT:
Learning set in meaningful context is deeper and richer than learning in an abstract context.
The guide (teacher) observes and accompanies, makes it possible for the child to act and think for him/herself, and helps him/her develop confidence and inner discipline.
ORDER IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND IN THE MIND:
The external order and the sequence in the use of materials are beneficial to the internal order of the child. They foster clarity of thought and concentration.
The comprehensive approach is characterized by a holistic view of education, and its purpose is human development.
Some of the fundamental concepts of this approach are:
- Human beings have an unlimited capacity to learn.
- Learning is an experiential process.
- Multiple paths to knowledge are recognized.
- Guide and student are in the process of learning.
- Learning can only take place in an atmosphere of freedom.
- We educate for global citizenship and with respect for diversity.
- Ecological and sustainable education is promoted.
Montessori learning is based on a holistic approach that includes six important and inseparable planes of development:
Cognitive, social, emotional, physical, aesthetic, spiritual.
The use of real experiences, tangible materials and other sources of specific learning promotes love for learning and stimulates curiosity and imagination.
The Montessori approach encourages reflection and critical thinking over memorizing information, since they fosters the optimal development of intelligence.
On the social level, experiencing collaboration instead of competition, children feel connected to their peers, helping them achieve an optimum level of emotional development.
Workdays are not divided into fixed periods for each subject, but the teachers (Guides) impart their lessons individually or in small groups, as required; students work at their own pace to accomplish the assigned task, while teachers guide and track the progress, maintaining a high level of performance.
The aim is to create in students the sustained yearning to conduct his/her own investigation, undertake a process of analysis and draw his/her own conclusions. It is directly related to the sense of success and the experience of being independent. Students develop the ability to pursue constantly higher goals and the pride of reaching new levels of knowledge.
12 POINTS OF THE METHOD
1. It is based on years of patient observation of the nature of the child by the great pedagogue Dr. Maria Montessori was.
2. It has proved to apply universally, regardless of race, nationality, social rank, type of civilization. None of these factors prevents its successful application.
3. It has revealed the little child as a lover of intellectual work spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.
4. It is based on the imperative need of the child to learn by doing. At each stage of the child’s mental growth, the teacher provides to him/her occupations in accordance with it, through which he/she develops his/her faculties.
5. While it offers the child a maximum of spontaneity, it prepares him/her to reach the same or even a higher level of academic achievement than under other, traditional systems.
6. The child learns to respect him/herself, others and the environment, so that discipline is rooted within him/her without the need for rewards or punishments.
7. It holds as fundamental a deep respect for the personality of the child, so he/she can develop in an atmosphere of freedom with limits.
8. It allows the teacher to address each child individually in each subject and so to guide him/her according to his/her individual needs.
9. Each child works at his/her own pace, allowing him/her to progress according to his/her skills and to focus on what it requires without interfering with the work of others.
10. The classroom environment fosters mutual help, which is given joyfully and gladly received amongst children. This fosters collaboration rather than competition.
11. The child works from his/her own free choice and according to his/her developmental stage, allowing him/her to enjoy his/her daily work and to internalize learning.
12. Finally, the Montessori method develops the whole personality, not only the intellectual faculties but also the powers of deliberation, initiative and independent choice, as well as the emotional complements. By living as a free and responsible member of a real social community, the child is trained in those fundamental social qualities which form the basis of good citizenship.