We have been often asked what Montessori's educational characteristic and its fundamental principal now that there are many Montessori school exist in Australia and Japan.
Children in Montessori school focus on activities they choose to do, and the teachers will be quietly watching over them. Teachers just observe what they are trying to do and which step they are at, never complement them too much or lead them to complete the tasks. Children learn to think and challenge themselves again and again until they’re satisfied with the activities which they actually enjoy to do while also helping each other. Time goes by slowly in this warm, peaceful atmosphere and the harmony they make.
That attitude of children is something that naturally occurs based on the educational philosophy “Children are born with great power with full of energy to grow on their own. We adults trust their power in an appropriate environment where freedom is guaranteed, provide the necessary support to build a foundation to form their personality such as the joy of voluntary learning, the sense of responsibility for one's actions and self-discipline.”
The aim of Montessori education is personality growth. And this education is taken over all over the world across the country and culture, and continues to discover new things every day.
Maria Montessori, who was the first female doctor in Italy devised a teaching tool according to the developmental stage of the child from the viewpoint of brain science, developmental psychology and pedagogical, and started a small "Children's House" (Casa dei Bambini). She saw into the deep and true nature of children and discovered many things in the daily life at Children’s House which are mentioned repeatedly in Montessori's book.
In that book for example, it is mentioned that a child has Sensitive Periods, that is a certain period of increasing sensitivity to acquire certain abilities, and also has a unique spirit (Absorbent Mind) that absorbs everything from the surrounding environment. These things are something you want to know as a parent to watch and support your child's growth starting with the harmony of the mind and body in infancy, then childhood up to the growth to a higher level.
Sometimes we are questioned about the freedom and development of sociability in Montessori education. The freedom is not the freedom to do anything. In this education, it is considered to be very important to have time to truly concentrate on the activities of their choice and learn from each other in their life with friends, and to do so children must respect each other and always care about the surroundings so as not to act in such a way to interrupt friends’ learning. Teachers are constantly observing and working to help them create relationships that enable them to learn from each other. Being able to connect with others in daily life will greatly contribute in the future to build a good relationship.
Relationship with friends can make them grow in a surprising way, and we are moved and impressed by them every day each moment. It also connects with what Montessori herself found at the first "Children's House".
Children enjoys and concentrate on activities they choose in a safe environment, and shows the best aspects that the person originally possesses, learning self-reliance and internal discipline. By fulfilling their desire for growth and being filled with confidence and self-reliance, the warm feeling full of love will naturally spread out externally as a desire to cherish and help other friends. In this way, we create a time for children to respect and learn from each other as an independent personality while deeply communicating with friends in their lives and learning.
While more people are aware of the importance of education from the early childhood which forms the basis of your child's personality, you are probably considering what kind of education is best for your child, have already done various things at home. The foundations established in early childhood have a great influence on motivation for learning, the ability to keep learning independently and confidently, and personality growth over a lifetime in and after primary school and high school. Montessori education’s fundamental aim is to a long-term personality growth, without being bounded by occasional learning.
The children filled with confidence and warm hearts are the are they key for peace in friends, family and the world, which can guide us to a more enlightened future as Montessori mentioned. We hope that we can support your child’s development for their bright future.