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Aim:
- Encourage students to grow to their full potential
- Foster: independence, concentration, self-worth, self-discipline, self-motivation, and a love of learning.
- Work to support the needs of children outside the classroom setting, with a particular emphasis on parent education and community outreach programs.

How:

DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES:
Maria Montessori believed that if education followed the natural development of the child, then society would gradually move to a higher level of co-operation, peace and harmony. The children at Montessori schools progress at their own pace and rhythm, within a frame work that supports their developmental stages.

  • There are four stages of development:

birth to age six ( the "absorbent mind"); absorbing all aspects of his or her environment, language and culture.
age six to twelve ( the "reasoning mind"); exploring the world with abstract thought and imagination.
twelve to eighteen ( the "humanistic mind"); eager to understand humanity and the contribution he or she can make to society
age eighteen to twenty-four ( the "specialist mind"); taking his or her place in the world.

CLASSES:
- The Montessori classroom environment and materials:

*reinforces the child's independence and natural urge toward self-development. This is achieved in three ways: beauty, order and accessibility.
Beauty: The Montessori materials are beautifully handcrafted and enticing
Order: Each piece of material has a specific purpose and is presented to the children in a manner that will enable them to direct their own learning. If the child has done something incorrectly it will be self-evident. The geometric shape, for example, won't fit the hole; the water will spill on the table or the last label will not match the last picture. Being able to see his or her own mistake allows the child to work independently.
Accessibility: Everything is easily accessible

*The Montessori classroom is not merely a place for individual learning. It is a vibrant community of children, where the child learns to interact socially in a variety of ways. The three-year age range enables older children to teach the younger and learn much themselves from the experience while the younger children are inspired to more advanced work through observing the older ones. With such a variety of levels in the classroom, each child can work at his or her own pace, unhindered by competition and encouraged by co-operation.

*Choice and freedom: the environment gives the child the opportunity to choose what they do from a range of activities that are suitable to their developmental needs. The student chooses to work for as long as they want to, to not work, to work without being interrupted by other children or by the constraints of a timetable etc. As long as his activity does not interfere with other children’s right and freedom to do the same.

*Role of the Adult: the adult is also part of the Montessori environment. The role of this adult is not like the teacher in a traditional environment, however – whose role is to teach the children. The role of the adult in a Montessori environment is to facilitate the child to teach themselves by following their own internal urges that will lead them to do things in their own order. The directress provides a link between the child and the prepared environment, introducing the child to each piece of equipment when he or she is ready in a precise, clear and enticing way. On a broader level the directress provides a link between the classroom and the parent, meeting with each child's parents to discuss progress. The most important attribute of a directress is the love and respect she holds for each child's total being.

PRACTICAL LIFE:
-The Practical Life component of the Montessori approach is the link between the child's home environment and the classroom. The child's desire to seek order and independence finds expression through the use of a variety of materials and activities which support the development of fine motor as well as other learning skills needed to advance to the more complex Montessori equipment. The practical life materials involve the children in precise movements which challenge them to concentrate, to work at their own pace uninterrupted, and to complete a cycle of work which typically results in the feelings of satisfaction and confidence. Practical life encompasses four main areas: Control of Movement, Care of Person, Care of Environment, and Grace and Courtesy.

LANGUAGE:
- Maria Montessori did not believe that reading, writing, spelling and language should be taught as separate entities. Pre-primary children are immersed in the dynamics of their own language development and the Montessori approach provides a carefully thought-out program to facilitate this process. Oral language acquired since birth is further elaborated and refined through a variety of activities such as songs, games, poems, stories and classified language cards.

MATHEMATICS:
- Mathematics is a way of looking at the world, a language for understanding and expressing measurable relationships inherent in our experience. A child is led to abstract ideas and relationships by dealing with the concrete. The child's mind has already been awakened to mathematical ideas through the sensorial experiences. The child has seen the distinctions of distance, dimension, graduation, identity, similarity and sequence and will now be introduced to the functions and operations of numbers. Geometry, algebra and arithmetic are connected in the Montessori method as they are in life. For instance the golden bead material highlights the numerical, geometrical and dimensional relationships within the decimal system. Through concrete material the child learns to add, subtract, multiply and divide and gradually comes to understand many abstract mathematical concepts with ease and joy.

PRIMARY:
- Primary children, typically, can be characterised by their questioning minds, their ability to abstract and imagine, their moral and social orientation and their unlimited energy for research and exploration. They move from the concrete through their own efforts and discovery to the abstract - thus greatly expanding their field of knowledge.

In a research style of learning, elementary children work in small groups on a variety of projects which spark the imagination and engage the intellect. Lessons given by a trained Montessori teacher direct the children toward activities which help them to develop reasoning abilities and learn the arts of life.

Children, at this age, are driven to understand the universe and their place in it and their capacity to assimilate all aspects of culture is boundless. Elementary studies include geography, biology, history, language, mathematics in all its branches, science, music and art. Exploration of each area is encouraged through trips outside the classroom to community resources, such as library, planetarium, botanical garden, science centre, factory, hospital, etc. This inclusive approach to education fosters a feeling of connectedness to all humanity, and encourages their natural desire to make contributions to the world.

ADOLESCENCE:
- The Montessori program for children aged 12 to 18 years is based on the recognition of the special characteristics of adolescence. Adolescence is an age of great social development, an age of critical thinking and re-evaluation, and a period of self-concern and self-assessment. It is a transition from childhood to adulthood with the corresponding physical, mental and sexual maturation. In early puberty the adolescent finds it hard to concentrate on academic and structured learning. Above all adolescence is like an odyssey - an arduous yet exciting adventure - where the adolescent tries to find his or her place in the world.

ERDKINDER:
- Dr. Montessori recommended that the adolescent should spend a period of time in the country away from the environment of the family. This would provide an opportunity to study civilisation through its origin in agriculture. She suggested they should live in a hostel which they would learn to manage and open a shop where sale of produce would bring in the fundamental mechanics of society, production and exchange on which economic life is based. She outlined a general plan for their studies and work but believed that the program which she called "Erdkinder" (German for "land children") could only be developed from experience.