Our educational philosophy is guided by two renowned educational specialists who observed and studied how students learn. The first of these is Dr. Maria Montessori who was the first female physician in Italy. She is responsible for developing an educational Method of education. Current research, conducted by Dr. Angelina Lilliard from The University of Virginia, shows that Montessori educated students have better outcomes in both superior achievement levels and social skills throughout their school years.
Montessori Method: The Montessori Method is a way about thinking about who children are. It is a philosophy that respects the unique individuality of each child. Dr. Montessori believed in the worthiness, value and importance of children. Her method does not compare a child to norms or standards that are measured by traditional educational systems. It is founded on the belief that children should be free to succeed and learn without restriction or criticism.
It is also an approach to education that takes to heart the needs, talents, gifts, and special individuality of each child. It is a process that helps children learn in their own way at their own pace. The main concept of Montessori is to promote the joy of learning. This joy of learning develops a well adjusted person who has a purpose and direction in his or her life. Children, who experience the joy of learning, are happy, confident, fulfilled children. In essence, Montessori helps bring forth the giftedness of each child.
“Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Founders of Google.com, Jeff Bezos of amazon.com, and many others, credit Their Montessori Education For Much Of Their Success.“
It is quite an interesting collection of people throughout history who have gone to Montessori schools, sent their children to Montessori schools, or supported this method of education in one way or another. The short list includes: Alice Waters, Friedrich Hundertwasser, Julia Child, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Helen Keller, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Mahatma Gandhi, Sigmund Freud, Buckminster Fuller, Leo Tolstoy, Burtrand Russell, Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, John Holt, Ann Frank, the Dalai Lama, Jacqueline Kennedy, Prince William and Prince Harry of the English royal family, Cher Bono, Yul Brynner, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Yo Yo Ma.
Recently, on the Barbara Walters ABC-TV Special “The 10 Most Fascinating People Of 2004″ Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of the popular Internet search engine Google.com, credited their years as Montessori students as a major factor in behind their success. Having been friends since childhood. When Barbara Walters asked if the fact that their parents were college professors was a factor behind their success, they said no, that it was their going to Montessori school where they learned to be self-directed and self-starters. They said that Montessori allowed them to learn to think for themselves and gave them freedom to pursue their own interests.
This endorsement comes in the same week as actress Susan St. James thanked the Montessori school that her son attended for its generosity and support to their family over the years.
The following notes about Larry Page and Sergey Brin were downloaded from http://abcnews.go.com
“Larry Page and Sergey Brin are not your typical billionaires. In fact, if you type billionaire into Google, the picture that emerges — fancy cars, private jets, mansions, jewels, supermodel girlfriends — isn’t anything you’d find in the lifestyle of the Google guys. Page drives a Prius, which costs around $21,000. Brin gets around for the most part on in-line skates, and he still lives in a rented apartment. Since taking Google public earlier this year, each is worth an estimated $6 billion. Even the way they took their company public was innovative. They let ordinary people bid on shares in their initial public offering, not just the big banks, because they thought it was fairer. In fact, they see their work as more of a vocation than as a means of getting rich. “We feel like we’re making a difference in the world — giving people information that they want really quickly and effectively,” Page said.
Read the article on the Web at:
Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University developed a theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner identified nine human intelligences each one having certain core operations-capacities. Gardner originally described seven intelligences and since then he has added two more. He believes that all human beings possess the nine different intelligences, that each person has a unique blend of intelligences, and that no two people have exactly the same profile of strengths and weaknesses with respect to intelligences. He also points out that strength in one area of intelligence does not predict strength or weakness in other areas. Gardner also believes that any intelligence can be enhanced by concerted effort. This means that he recognizes that the visual learner, auditory learner and kinesthetic learner learn best when challenged in different ways. Like Montessori, Gardner recognized that concrete hands on materials along with real life experiences enhanced learning.
Although working in different cultures and different times, Montessori and Gardner came to many of the same conclusions regarding human development. First, both Montessori and Gardner derived their theories based upon daily, firsthand observation and experience working with people, both normal and with exceptionalities. Montessori worked with children and Gardner focused his attention upon adults. Both worked with various forms of brain damage, as well as normal and gifted children and adults. These experiences enabled them both to understand and appreciate the wide range of abilities and capacities found in human nature and to challenge rigid and narrow beliefs about human potential.
Second, as a result of their shared understanding and appreciation of human nature, both Montessori and Gardner noted the uniqueness of each individual. They observed that individual differences begin to be revealed in the earliest years of life, and that individual strengths in one area of ability do not necessarily ensure or predict strengths in other areas.
Montessori Program-Taught by Certified Montessori Teachers
It is a strong phonics-based method that includes whole language ideas. Concentration, left-to-right sequencing, pencil control, and visual and auditory discrimination are developed to help younger students develop fine motor skills. Montessori teachers use concrete materials such as the sandpaper letters and moveable alphabet to help each child break down the code to reading with success. Literature, comprehension and grammar are an important part of the curriculum which is taught at the moment each student has achieved readiness for these skills.
The Montessori math program focuses on using concrete examples to illustrate abstract concepts, transferring quantities to symbols and learning the ones, tens, hundreds and thousands. Sandpaper numerals, number rods, cards and counters, teen and tens boards and a 1-100 board are all materials used to demonstrate the quantity to symbol recognition. Bank game and golden bead materials provide an introduction to the decimal system and basic operations. Squaring and cubing of numbers is demonstrated through the bead chains of varying colors. Multiplication, division and fractions are taught from age 5 to 9.
Certified Montessori teachers guide small classes in Montessori math, reading, writing and cultural subjects with authentic Montessori materials that provide optimum learn experiences. Gifted children learn through multi sensory activities so that they can enhance their skills by utilizing Multi-sensory materials. Class ratios are 1:5 and each child receives the individual attention he needs to excel. The program does not include practical life activities that are usually found in Montessori classrooms. The benefits are that children are not in a large class for three hours in which they have the opportunity to occupy their time with table scrubbing and similar activities. Students are in class for about 1 and a half hours with the focus structured by the teacher to help develop academic skills through phonics based materials and whole language literature. Montessori grammar which is the easiest way for children to understand the parts of speech is also taught. Some traditional reading and math materials are also included so that every child can achieve a multi disciplinary education that matches her individual learning style.
Cultural subjects and geography are taught using Montessori teaching practices including the puzzle maps of the continents, flags of countries, land forms, etc. along with our foreign language specialists in immersion classes. Hands on experiences are enhanced by special cooperative projects which provide enrichment. For example, our native speaking foreign language teachers may cook native dishes together with the children in our well stocked kitchen. Of course, the foreign language will be spoken during the classes as we develop the children’s’ conversational skills in activities that involve them in enriching fun activities.
Montessori: Toddler, Pre K and Elementary Classes Ratio 1:5
Certified Montessori Teachers