East Gate Montessori School is a private educational school based upon and dedicated to the Montessori method. Based upon the developmental needs of each child, freedom and structure are enhanced through learning experiences. East Gate Montessori School’s approach to education develops the potential of young children through a carefully prepared environment, specially trained teachers, and the use of Maria Montessori’s didactic materials.
The Montessori Method
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian physician and educator at the turn of the twentieth century. She was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy, and this set her on the path to understanding the young child. Maria Montessori capitalized on the notion each child is different, and therefore each child learns in different ways. Children absorb knowledge when it comes from their own minds and self-motivation.
Dr. Montessori considered her emphasis on the environment a unique element of her method. The “prepared environment” is a place where the child can learn independence by doing things for themselves and provides a comfortable non-competitive world in which to grow and learn. Respect for others creates a co-operative atmosphere. Children spend each work period moving freely from one activity to another; guided by their curiosity. They choose activities which are often self-correcting and increasingly more difficult. Each step in this academic process reinforces a positive attitude, self-motivation, and a growing self-confidence.
The Montessori method emphasis’ the role of the teacher as a guide to each child, introducing materials, and assisting where needed. Careful observation helps the teacher prepare the environment with the child’s interest in mind. The teacher is constantly alert to the direction in which the child is going, and actively works to help the child achieve their goals. The Montessori teacher facilitates the classroom activities, carefully planning the environment, and helping progress from one activity to the next. Montessori professionals are trained to deal with each child individually. This is often called “following the child”. A Montessori teacher often stands back while the child is working, allowing them to gain satisfaction in their own discoveries. Montessori tools promote motor skills as well as development of the mind.
Children leave a Montessori program with strong fundamental educational skills. Studies have shown that Montessori children continue to excel throughout their academic years and develop to their fullest potential.
For more information on the Montessori Method visit the American Montessori Society website.
What’s the Difference?
There are many differences between most non-Montessori pre-school programs and most Montessori pre-school programs.
Most non-Montessori Pre-School Programs
Children are different. Some can learn, others cannot
No implicit trust and respect for every child
Teacher is the transmitter of knowledge
Homogeneous grouping. Children are taught in a group
Some are held back, some are pushed, others dropped
Answers are provided by the teacher
Children are dependent on the teacher
Teacher directed. Very little choice
Subjects are compartmentalized
Time period allotted
Grades are rewards or punishment
Test to evaluate
Most Montessori Pre-School Programs
All children can learn, they are the same all over the world
Implicit trust and respect for every child
Children learn through their own discovery and experience
Multi-age grouping. Children are directed individually
Each learns at his/her own pace
Children correct themselves through control and error
Children work independently
Self directed. Make their own choice
Subjects are intertwined
No time restriction