The Montessori Philosophy

Montessori is the widely acclaimed education system developed a century ago by Italy’s first woman physician, Maria Montessori. Since its inception, Montessori schools have spread throughout the world. In the United States alone there are about 5,000 Montessori schools and thousands more can be found in numerous other countries. Even public schools in America—some 300 of them—have embraced the Montessori philosophy.

Respect for the individual child and a recognition that each child learns differently is at the heart of Montessori education. This philosophy is readily apparent in Montessori classrooms—refreshing environments in which intellectually engaged students are encouraged to make choices in the planning and follow-through of the workday. The application of this philosophy allows each child adequate time for individual mastery of tasks and concepts.  Children pass through sensitive periods of development early in life. Dr. Montessori described the child's mind between the time of birth and six years of age as the "absorbent mind". It is during this stage that a child has a tremendous ability to learn and assimilate from the world around him, without conscious effort. During this time, children are particularly receptive to certain external stimuli. A Montessori teacher recognizes and takes advantage of these highly perceptive stages through the introduction of materials and activities which are specially designed to stimulate the intellect.


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The Montessori Teacher

Montessori teachers are trained facilitators in the classroom, always ready to assist and direct. Their purpose is to stimulate the child's enthusiasm for learning and to guide it, without interfering with the child's natural desire to teach himself and become independent. Each child works through his individual cycle of activities, and learns to truly understand according to his own unique needs and capabilities. Certified Montessori teachers function in the classroom as mentors, guiding the children to understanding through discovery. Maria Montessori once said that the greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.”

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The Montessori Classroom

It is in this uniquely structured, nurturing environment that students are able to explore and strengthen their areas of special interest. Parents will testify that you simply will not find happier, more productive students anywhere!

In a Montessori classroom, children cultivate their own desire to learn in an environment that is supportive and challenging. The children are grouped in three-year age spans. Children work and play in a mixed age group of 3- to 6-year-olds. Younger children benefit from participating in a classroom with multiple levels of materials and lessons, while older children have the opportunity to serve as role models and helpers for younger children. This interaction develops a healthy sense of community and cooperation.

Montessori education supports individually paced academic progress that meets or surpasses state curriculum standards. Montessori children work within a written study plan. Students come alive through a host of hands-on projects and activities. For an education to profoundly touch a child’s heart and mind, he must be learning because he is curious and interested, not simply to earn the highest grades in the class.  A quality Montessori classroom has a busy, productive atmosphere where joy and respect abound. Within such an enriched environment, freedom, responsibility, and social and intellectual development spontaneously flourish!


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Montessori at Latta Early Childhood

The Latta Early Childhood Center will fully implement a Primary Montessori class for the 2011-12 school year.  This class will consist of 4 and 5 year old children. 


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The Montessori Foundation

Association Montessori Internationale

Montessori Connections

Information on Maria Montessori

Public School Choice - Montessori Programs


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