The Montessori Method

“In the words of the child – I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

— Dr. Maria Montessori

A Brief History of Montessori

Born in 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy, Maria Montessori graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rome in 1896, and was the first woman to practice medicine in Italy. As a physician, Dr. Montessori began working with young children and observed their capacity for learning and their intrinsic needs. She discovered that the characteristics at each stage of human development are unique and that the foundation of the whole personality is laid during the early years of life.

In 1907, Dr. Montessori opened the first Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House) in Rome. Initially, Montessori put a range of different activities and specially-designed materials in the children’s environment, but ultimately kept only those that engaged them. What Dr. Montessori came to realize was that children who were placed in an environment where activities were designed to support their natural development had the power to educate themselves.

Dr. Montessori designed a series of materials that are still used in Montessori schools around the world. Along with the materials, her observations led her to develop the Montessori teaching method. The notion of giving young children not only respect as autonomous individuals, but the freedom to choose their educational activities was nothing short of revolutionary. Dr. Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949, 1950 and 1951. She died on May 6, 1952, in Noordwijk aan Zee, Netherlands. Today, Dr. Montessori’s motto of “follow the child” is used in Montessori schools all over the world.

Importance of the Early Years

Dr. Montessori said, “The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement, is being formed.

From birth to age 6, the child possesses an absorbent mind, or the innate ability to absorb all aspects of the environment they come in contact with, without effort or fatigue. The child is predisposed to natural and unconscious learning, and they pass through specific developmental stages in which they have a disposition, or sensitivity, to learn a specific skill. When passing through each sensitive period, children are naturally drawn to specific aspects of their immediate environment. We recognize these sensitive periods and prepare an enriched and purposeful environment to serve and satisfy the child’s needs at each of these developmental stages.

Our Guiding Principles

  • to provide a language-rich, stimulating and nurturing learning environment
  • to support the child’s needs and tendencies during their sensitive periods of development
  • to respect the child’s personality and integrity as an individual
  • to help the child overcome difficulties
  • to impart knowledge and skills to help the child become a critical thinker, problem solver and lifelong learner

The Purpose of Montessori Education

Montessori observed that all children, regardless of culture, follow certain patterns of bahavior or “tendencies” as they grow and develop.

Tendencies not only bring acquisition of skills, they also bring a sense of satisfaction to the mind and soul. Our teachers follow the child’s intrinsic needs and tendencies at each stage of development, nurturing their natural desire to learn, discover and maximizing their potentialities.

The Prepared Environment

The Montessori classroom provides a prepared environment where children are given the opportunity to respond to their natural tendency to work. The learning materials are specifically designed to help them explore their world and develop essential cognitive skills. Children work freely at their own pace, and in the process develop self-confidence, inner discipline and a joy of learning, free from peer competition. The mixed-age setting also encourages children to develop their personalities socially and intellectually at their own pace.

For more information on The Montessori Method, read or listen to Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook by Maria Montessori.

Montessori Method vs. Traditional Method

Notable Alumni

“The Montessori educational approach might be the surest route to joining the creative elite.”

— Peter Sims in The Montessori Mafia, Wall Street Journal

Montessori is a proven and well-established educational approach that has been practised worldwide for a century. It has been credited with producing a number of well-known innovators (see The Montessori Mafia on Wall Street Journal and Montessori Builds Innovators on Harvard Business Review).

Here are but a few of the notable Montessori alumni:

  • Princes William, Harry, and George of the British Royal Family
  • Jeff Bezos, founder of
  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of
  • Jimmy Wales, founder of
  • Anne Frank, author of Diary of Anne Frank