The Montessori Method began over 100 years ago. It was introduced by Dr Maria Montessori, who believed there was a great need for young children to be stimulated within a prepared environment. Dr Montessori was an anthropologist and through her observations of children realised that children have an innate ability to absorb and learn from their environment with ease.
Through her observations she realised that children need to be stimulated in a way that will allow their natural development to take place and not over-stimulated endless amounts of toys in the quest to keep children occupied...
We are completely on the wrong track when we believe that expensive toys should keep a child happy, or that the child who has a nanny to do everything for him is particularly fortunate. In reality it is the child of the busy mother, who is left to try and do things for himself, left to improvise toys from simple things and use his own ingenuity, who is fortunate. … Children with cupboards full of toys are often bored and naughty, while the child who is left alone takes pleasure in very simple things and is happily absorbed for hours at a time in work of his own choosing. [Maria Montessori, Maria Montessori Speaks to Parents]
As a result of her observations Dr Montessori introduced learning materials to a child’s environment that became of great benefit, so she decided to test her theory and take her findings further. She began her Children’s House in Italy and introduced underprivileged and special needs children to the very basic learning materials at first, which was a tremendous success. The children were becoming independent, confident, and happy while learning a great deal about life and its social and economic states.
Dr Montessori realised that there are great benefits in stimulating a young child in his / her most formative years and so today, after many years of change in our social world, the Montessori system still exists and is still a benefit and a crucial tool for a child’s development.
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“It is too often required of children that they should adjust themselves to the world, practiced and alert. But it would be more to the purpose that the world adjusts itself to children in all its dealings with them.” [Secret of Childhood Maria Montessori]