Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was a pioneer in education. After becoming Italy’s first female doctor, her interests turned to the education of children and she began her lifelong study of human development. Based on a profound respect for the potential of each individual and the discovery that children learn best when they are able to follow their individual interests, Montessori created carefully prepared classrooms that allow freedom of choice and movement while modelling guidance and structure. Montessori methodology offers a holistic and comprehensive educational foundation that builds confidence, self-awareness, academic excellence, social responsibility and a lifelong love of learning.
Her methods and materials have been tested around the world and adapt well to a variety of cultural settings. This adaptability, and Montessori’s insight into how children learn, resulted from her understanding of the universal principles of human development. Her early discoveries are now being confirmed by modern research. These principles are as relevant today as they were nearly 100 years ago.
Below are just a few of the key advantages children gain from a Montessori Education.
- The mix of younger and older children is perfect preparation for fostering a spirit of inclusiveness with others later in life. “Younger children learn from older children; older children reinforce their learning by teaching concepts they have already mastered, This arrangement also mirrors the real world, where individuals work and socialize with people of all ages and dispositions.”
- During the first six years of life, The Montessori Method states that he or she has an “absorbent mind,” meaning that “the young child seems to just soak up everything in his environment without even thinking about it”. At their own pace, children will develop skills – and a big imagination – that will be crucial in the years to come.
- Montessorians understand that internal satisfaction drives the child’s curiosity and interest and results in joyous learning that is sustainable over a lifetime.
- Self correction and self assessment are an integral part of the Montessori classroom approach. As the children mature, students learn to look critically at their work and become adept at recognizing correcting and learning from their errors.
- A Montessori education,which focuses on creating a community within the classroom, will only cultivate Montessori’s value of helping children learn how to resolve their conflicts on their own.
“Education…is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”
– Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
Ms. Shauna completed her AMI Elementary Training in Milwaukee in 2002 after twenty years teaching with the Calgary Board of Education. When she returned to Calgary, she taught for ten more years with the CBE in both Lower and Upper Montessori Elementary settings in both public and private environments throughout the city. She went on to complete her Masters in Montessori Education from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland. She also has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary and her classroom Supervisory Status from Alberta Child and Family Services in Early Childhood Education.
Working diligently to gain Alberta Accreditation for her school, her vast experience and knowledge of the Montessori and Alberta Curriculums continue to guide children towards interdependence in our global society. She says that Montessori is always in her heart. Her belief in the messages of Dr. Montessori and her passion and enthusiasm for the methodology within the classroom is exciting. As a priority, she spends time enabling her to better understand the “sparks” of interest in each of her students and believes in developing a strong sense of community.
Montessori Primary-Casa dei Bambini- Ages 3, 4 and 5
The following five aspects of the Montessori preschool play a major role in a child’s education, according to the teacher’s association:
Practical life: Enhances the development of task organization and cognitive order through care of self, care of the environment, exercises of grace and courtesy, and coordination of physical movement.
The sensorial area: enables the child to order, classify, and describe sensory impressions in relation to length, width, temperature, mass, color, pitch, etc.
Mathematics: makes use of manipulative materials to enable the child to internalize concepts of number, symbol, sequence, operations, and memorization of basic facts.
Language arts: includes oral language development, written expression, reading, grammar, creative dramatics, and children’s literature. Using classroom tools like alphabet cut-outs and sandpaper letters, children learn basic reading and writing skills. It helps them link sounds and letters more easily, and to express thoughts and feelings through writing.
Cultural activities: These types of activities will help present the basics of geography, history, and life sciences to students to help them learn. Music, art, and movement education are also part of the curriculum.
Students are provided with the building blocks for a basic foundation that will help them have a positive attitude towards school, a sense of order, pride in the physical environment, a strong sense of curiosity and concentration, and the ability to make decisions independently and a sense of responsibility, among many other things. This foundation will enable them to acquire more specialized knowledge and skills throughout their school career. Ms. Shauna has received her supervisory designation from the Department of Child and Family Services that allows the classroom to open up to a small number of preschoolers.
Our classroom program consists of a kindergarten extended day group of students that can attend our kindergarten program for full days 5 days per week. This means that parents who want more kindergarten for their children than is currently offered within the surrounding community can approach us about extending their children’s kindergarten experiences.
Montessori Elementary Ages 6-12
We have the distinct advantage of a brand new Montessori alternative elementary program that advocates excellence in active learning through a hands-on approach. We foster life-long learning driven by high standards, insatiable curiosity and the will to succeed in life. Our Montessori program features hands-on learning and manipulatives in all areas of study. Multi-aged students learning together is a key element to the Montessori philosophy. We strive to focus on the intrinsic motivation of students along with providing student choice in educational activities. These activities encompass self-correcting mechanisms within a carefully prepared classroom.
Features of our Elementary Montessori program include:
- a low-tuition independent school
- cooperative learning, peer tutoring and emotional development
- large blocks of uninterrupted time for learning
- work through independent activity coordinated with teacher-directed activity
- Ecological Studies, French, Music and Art
- peace education through global awareness
- subjects offered in a non-traditional, integrated manner where skill and concept are the predominant focus for organized learning
- Montessori certified teacher trained in the Montessori philosophy and methodology with a Bachelor of Education and a Masters in Montessori Education, an Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Diploma with MACTE accreditation