Montessori Philosophy and Environment
The Montessori Philosophy
At MCF, our guiding philosophy is to nurture the uniqueness of each child while respecting their individual, cultural, and family background. We do this through positive interactions with our students, their families, and our team. We show evidence of this through our Montessori education program, the structure of our educational teams, and through our prepared learning environments.
We believe that:
- All children carry within themselves the person they will become, and that our role as educators and parents is to positively influence this becoming.
- Each child has the right to be and feel safe, both physically, and emotionally.
- The potential for each child’s development should be nurtured and respected.
- Education is an aid to life and a preparation for it.
- A complete care and education program involves the integration of the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical and social aspects of life.
- There should be diversity of social groupings and all forms of diversity should be accepted and respected.
- Learning occurs in a variety of ways and should be suited to each child’s individual developmental needs and interests in order to help them achieve their full potential.
- Learning is largely active, often self-correcting, individually paced, and unlimited in scope.
- The teacher’s role is to guide, observe, and support each child.
- The Montessori environment “reaches” the child through curiosity, stability, and the freedom to choose.
- Learning should be linked to the home and the outside world.
- Balancing freedom and discipline results in a larger capacity for self-direction.
The Montessori Environment
Montessori educational environments are carefully prepared for child-centered learning.
The Montessori environment:
- Is organised to support the developmental characteristics and interests of a mixed age group within an identified range;
- Promotes lively and purposeful engagement in both indoor and outdoor settings;
- Can be adapted to any culture or setting; and,
- Thrives through the trained adult’s careful observation of both universal and individual needs as revealed by each unique learner.
The visible environment includes accessible furniture, a variety of work spaces, and scientifically designed materials displayed for free choice of activity. These materials support concrete exploration which leads to both practical skills and abstract knowledge. Such exploration is initiated through minimalist lessons offered by the trained Montessori teacher followed by hands-on, self-directed, and self-correcting learning which can be individual, collaborative, or peer-to-peer.
The absence of an imposed daily schedule and incorporation of logical limits to activity create an environment that supports independence, confidence, self-discipline, mutual respect, social connection, and stewardship of the environment. The outcome is a vibrant learning community, characterised by positive behavioural, moral, and emotional development as well as solid cognitive achievements.