At Highlands Montessori, we strive to foster independence, confidence, self-discipline, and a lifelong passion for learning by providing an authentic Montessori education. Dr. Maria Montessori developed this system over a century ago in Italy. Her revolutionary approach to education has long stood the test of time, and today remains a popular alternative to more traditional methods. Montessori education focuses on guiding each individual child along his or her unique path of natural development. Children are free to explore and discover within a carefully prepared, nurturing environment.
About Dr. Montessori:
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) grew up in a society that offered few options for women. Despite great obstacles, she valued education and graduated from medical school, one of the first female doctors in Italy. She became interested in graduate work in psychiatry and accepted a position at a clinic for mentally disabled children. While working at the clinic, Dr. Montessori studied the methods of Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard and Edoard Seguin and implemented some of their methods in her work with the children. As a result of these experiences, Montessori began to question the functions of a school and teacher and the current system of education in Italy.
In 1907, Montessori accepted a position to watch over a group of children in a tenement building in Rome. She envisioned her school, the Casa dei Bambini, as a true house for children, designed specifically to meet their unique needs. She equipped the school with small, child-sized furniture and introduced practical life activities, teaching the children to care for themselves in order to raise their sense of human dignity. Through continuous observation and experimentation at the Casa dei Bambini, Dr. Montessori developed a revolutionary new method of education. She focused on recognizing the unique needs and abilities of the child, the importance of a carefully prepared environment, and the critical role of the adult in guiding the child to new discoveries.
Montessori’s philosophy of education soon began to spread, and Dr. Montessori traveled extensively, training teachers and giving lectures across the globe. Throughout her life, Montessori continued to develop her pedagogy, expanding her philosophy to include an elementary program as well as a program for children under the age of three. She was nominated three times for a Nobel peace prize for her work in education, and is still regarded as an important revolutionary in educational theory and a champion for children.
Association Montessori Internationale:
The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), founded by Dr. Montessori in 1929, was established to maintain the integrity of her philosophy. At Highlands Montessori all of the teachers have taken the rigorous training offered by AMI, which is an international indication of quality, authentic Montessori education.