Montessori education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician, after years of scientific observations of human development. She was a pioneer of a child-centered approach to education that valued supporting the development of a child’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth as a whole. She opened her first school in Italy – Casa dei Bambini, the “Children’s House.” Here, she prepared an environment full of specially-made and engaging scientific materials based on the child’s developmental aptitude for learning.
Dr. Montessori continually observed children, and adapted her classroom to children’s needs. This meticulously conducted research process led her to eight essential principles out of which the Montessori Method is derived:
1) that movement and cognition are closely entwined, and movement can enhance thinking and learning;
2) that learning and well-being are improved when people have a sense of control over their lives;
3) that people learn better when they are interested in what they are learning;
4) that tying extrinsic rewards to an activity, like money for reading or high grades for tests, negatively impacts motivation to engage in that activity when the reward is withdrawn;
5) that collaborative arrangements can be very conducive to learning;
6) that learning situated in meaningful contexts is often deeper and richer than learning in abstract contexts;
7) that particular forms of adult interaction are associated with more optimal child outcomes; and
8) that order in the environment is beneficial to children.
– Excerpted from “Montessori, The Science Behind the Genius,” by Angeline Stoll Lillard, New York, Oxford University Press (2008)
Based on this method, every component of the classroom at Redwood Montessori School is meaningful. The classroom itself is peaceful, gentle and uncluttered to create a safe and warm learning environment. The Montessori educational materials have been developed with the support of scientific and academic research into child and human development. They are inviting and beautiful, naturally drawing in children to work with them and learn. All the activities in the prepared environment are created in a way to help the child’s confidence, sense of order, independence and concentration.
Our academic program is rigorous and effective because children drive their own learning with the guidance of our expert educators. Children explore, play and learn without being forced to do so. Please call us to learn more!