Maria Montessori, an Italian doctor (1870-1952), is an example of a real Renaissance educator, academically exploring psychology, medicine and anthropology. She dedicated much of her life to giving the ghetto children of Rome a good education. In Italy's capital city, the doctor worked from tenement housing with under-privileged kids. A genuine visionary, she masterminded a new educational philosophy that's been loved and acclaimed by kids and their parents all over our planet. The <a href="http://mchdenver.org">Montessori Childrens House of Denver</a> is a fantastic place to nurture young minds.
Montessori schools now operate all over the globe, giving a teaching method that focuses on the whole child. It's all about preparing a young individual for life's opportunities and challenges rather than getting children through exams. You may well find a nursery near you, though in principle this education can take a young person right through to matriculation. In practice, most operate up to the eighth grade.
There are around 20,000 nurseries and schools worldwide. They all adhere to Dr. Maria's philosophy, concentrating on independent learning as opposed to teaching by rote; with respect for each child and lots of freedom in pedagogy. There's a great deal of hands-on learning, with practical exploration not handed down teaching.
From birth to age six, Maria observed the "absorbent mind" of young children. She noted how they learn via sensory exploration, with very little effort. The take in their physical environment, the social interactions and the language of their world. Kids from birth are perceptive; receptive to what is around them. Montessori educators try and stimulate this intrinsic desire to explore and learn. Mixed age and sex classes of 20-30 children enjoy fun while learning.
A second factor for every classroom is helping children develop their love of learning. The educators and their method concentrate on children being not just able to learn, but wanting to learn and engendering love for the process of learning. Lessons aren't didactic and teachers won't limit how children learn. Every child has different learning patterns and behaviors, and these will be positively embraced.
Freedom is entirely encouraged. Nothing is forbidden, with everything in children's physical environment designed for exploring, touching and learning from. The very furniture, toys or decoration is purpose-built on a childlike scale in which they can enjoy discovery in complete safety. These same kinds of freedom are applied to the curriculum. The teacher is just a guide, facilitator and encourager, who won't 'talk down' children or merely instruct them.
Similarly, there is little emphasis on grades, exams results and SATs. Teachers don't hand back work covered in ticks or crosses. Red pen doesn't cover handed in homework. Instead, the teacher assesses what has been assimilated and what has interested the child, then points them towards new areas of discovery. Thus, these children tend to be happy rather than stressed.
Montessori education has long been acknowledged by experts as providing kids with an excellent start to life. All parents should consider the method, especially with young children. It gives kids the chance to enjoy being kids without pressure. Parents seeking an unstressed educational environment may find the Montessori Childrens House of Denver a very positive choice.