The Montessori Difference
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that children need positive role models who treat them with respect rather than from a position of authority or intimidation and from whom they could learn respectful behavior. Through her observations of children, she saw that by being in an environment that enabled them to cultivate respect for others and practice social solidarity, they would express moral character. Thus, the children in Montessori experience mixed age grouping so that they can become role models for each other. As well, the children have “freedom within limits.” At MCC, we see that children model for one another, respect each other, take care of their work and classroom materials, and behave responsibly when their ideas and contributions are accepted and respected, when they are allowed to make choices, and when they can participate in the daily functioning of the classroom. This allows the children to have the freedom to direct their learning, develop concentration, express their agency, and spend the time they need to engage in their activities fully without interruption.
MCC offers personalized learning programs focused on a child’s development. Infants eat and sleep according to their own schedules. All children choose their work from a carefully prepared classroom environment specifically designed to invite them to explore, solve problems, collaborate, and trust in their own abilities. Montessori puts children in a multi-age classroom, recognizing that children have different learning styles and develop at different rates, giving children an experience of seeing development as a process of natural unfolding rather than an expectation that each achieves in lock-step with another. Most of our children enter our program as infants or toddlers and thus we enable children to be fully engaged in Montessori for the first four or five years of their lives, continuously enrolled for 12 months each year, creating a strong, stable foundation of continuity and routine from which to grow.
Our primary task is to help the children in our care construct themselves to flourish in an increasingly challenging world. The most important assets we believe our philosophy offers to help sustain them throughout their lifetime are a love of learning, confidence, agency, and the ability to adapt.
It has been suggested that most people will change careers at least two or three times during their lifetime. Introductions of new forms of technology will continue to alter the pace of life. How can we best prepare our children for the changes facing our society when we can’t even anticipate what those future demands will be? We believe we can prepare them by offering a curriculum that develops and supports their abilities to think logically, cope with change, cooperate with others, identify problems, solve problems in new ways, articulate their own thoughts, values, and ideas, and be respectful of the rights and concerns of others and to help protect the earth.
Maria Montessori believed “Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.”
Our basic goals for all children include:
- Engendering a positive attitude toward learning and school
- Fostering inner security, self-confidence, independence, agency, and a sense of order and organization
- Developing habits of initiative, perseverance, grit, self-control, and cooperation
- Nurturing social interactions and mutual respect
- Promoting the healthy growth and development of each individual
- Supporting social, physical, and learning skills
- Encouraging intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation
- Encouraging the light of each child to shine while being able to respect the needs of others
- Promoting peace in our classrooms and communities and throughout our world
The Montessori Children’s Center’s approach to teaching is based on the Montessori philosophy of education. We are committed to the Montessori approach to learning in all aspects of our center, including teacher preparation (all head teachers are Montessori trained and certified or in the process of their certification and we practice life-long learning, with over 15 hours of professional development each year and annual membership for all our staff with the American Montessori Society, as well as supporting on-going engagement in academic learning for staff–whether it be a the bachelors, masters, or doctoral level), the use of Montessori materials for all age groups, multi-age classrooms (infants are 3 months to 18 months; toddlers are 18 months to 36 months; early childhood are 3 years to six-year-old); an environment that fosters respect of differences and celebrates the unique contributions and light of each member of our community. This approach is based on a sincere respect for the child as a developing person with self-motivated curiosity, a desire to learn, and the ability to master skills in an environment that has been prepared to allow him/her to develop at his/her own pace, without pressure.
We work to have our children develop in a nurturing environment that helps them fulfill themselves as individuals while being able to contribute to their greater community. At MCC, we strive to be a place of ongoing learning for both little people and big people.
We are a proud Montessori Verified School by the American Montessori Society.