What is Montessori?

Montessori education builds a child’s capability to become a fulfilled and productive adult able to contribute to the world—at home, at work, and in their community. Maria Montessori’s observation of human development from birth to adulthood led to an education approach that supports children’s natural development, providing the skills and support to reach their full potential in life. With a strong emotional, behavioural, and moral foundation, children become motivated, active, and independent learners who are prepared for the real world.

The Montessori approach provides children with enduring intellectual capabilities, achieved through the framework of social and emotional learning. Academics and knowledge-building are key qualities of Montessori, as is the ability to think creatively and understand the needs of others. When these fundamental skills are fostered early in life, children gain the capability to problem-solve, persevere, and interact well with others in any circumstance.

Unlike traditional classrooms, Montessori learning environments are designed to fit the specific needs of each child’s stage of development. Learning is all about the activity and independence of the child to find out what they need at each particular moment.

Authentic Montessori environments encompass the following principles:

  • Mixed age groups which not only offer a wide range of activities to spark children’s interest but also enable children to learn from others and learn by helping others.
  • Freedom for children to work at their own pace, without interruption, choosing from a range of activities that are developmentally challenging and appropriate.
  • Exploration is encouraged so that children find things out for themselves, make mistakes and correct them independently.
  • Respect for each child as an individual personality with unique talents.
  • Respect for others, the community and the environment.

Montessori teachers are experts in child development, guiding children to learn independently and reach their unique potential.

Useful links

Educateurs sans Frontières

Educateurs sans Frontières (EsF), a division of AMI, functions as a social movement that strives to promote the rights of the child throughout the world, irrespective of race, religion, political and social beliefs. EsF is committed to transcending borders in order to serve children through innovative educational initiatives using Montessori principles and practices.

EsF initiatives in Kenya include the Corner of Hope schools and teacher programme in Nakuru and the Montessori Samburu nomadic schooling programme for the pastoral Samburu community in the Namunyak Conservancy.

Find out more at www.montessori-esf.org

Aid to Life

This initiative is founded on the idea that children develop optimally when they are brought up in an environment that supports their natural development, with an adult who understands how to connect them to positive activity and then allows them enough time to grow and develop according to their own pace and rhythm.

It aims to give parents clear, simple, straightforward advice in a format that is easy to understand and apply.

Find out more at www.aidtolife.org.

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