Read More.... How the Montessori method of education was developed

  • Between the ages of birth and 6 years the child is in the absorbent mind stage (a mental process whereby the child assimilates and integrates into his environment). The child is born with an amazing absorbent mind and sensitivities that enable him to spontaneously and effortlessly gain knowledge and abilities easily till the age of 6 without judgement and criticism.

  • Sensitive periods are specific times in a child's life when he is especially sensitive and interested in 1 aspect and excludes everything else. It is important to illuminate that which interests him leaving him indifferent to everything else at that time. These periods are temporary and if missed learning and development in the area becomes remedial and the child may not have the same passion to want to grasp the knowledge. The child works with constant joy if the educational environment is organized according to his sensitive need, and through his work, is calmer and more fulfilled in doing activities that fulfill the need.
    • Language (Birth – 6 yrs)
    • Order (3mnths – 3 yrs)
    • Refinement of movement (approx. 1yr – 3 yrs)
    • Socialisation (2 ½ - 6yrs)
    • Small details (1yr - 3yrs)
    • Sensory perception (0 – 6yrs)
  • Maria Montessori referred to the Developmental Planes as the "constructive rhythm of life." Dr. She observed four distinct phases in human development and said that different characteristics, learning methods and developmental needs are active in each of these phases, and therefore deduced that the educational approach should be specific to each phase.

  • No phase is missed and each phase has a different physical and mental need with a definite time span requiring different surroundings, opportunities, ways of learning and even different adults along the way. Each phase prepares the child for the next and the phases alternate between intense change and consolidation, with saw the first and third phases being intensely creative, whilst the second and fourth are the calmer periods of consolidating.

  • One constant throughout all the phases is the need for independence, and this is expressed differently throughout the phases. The phases transform the child from infant dependency to freedom in maturity as an adult and all these phases are necessary to develop the child into a whole person. The environment, work and adults must be suitable at each stage in order for the child to develop to his true potential.
    • First Plane: Birth – 6 years known as Early Childhood
    • Second Plane: 6 – 12 years knows as Childhood
    • Third Plane: 12 – 18 years known as Adolescence
    • Fourth Plane: 18 – 24 years and beyond knows as Adulthood
    • The child spends the entire first plane of development, from conception to age six, adapting himself to his society and culture, through the development of his consciousness, reason, will power, imagination, and conscience
  • Dr. Montessori identified 14 distinct Human Tendencies/Potentialities (all that have existed since man first appeared on earth and which has accounted for his survival on the planet so far). Most of these tendencies are heightened in the first six years of life, whilst others occur in the second plane of development, with a continuous but different intensity attached to those tendencies that had been covered in the first plane of development.

  • The 14 tendencies that Maria Montessori identified are order, exploration, socialisation, communication, abstraction, curiosity, calculation, work, repetition, concentration, self-control, perfection, creativity and independence.

  • Montessori education at each successive level that the child is in, is determined by the basic human urge to explore. For children under 6 years, the environment is filled with real life practical life and sensorial activities, that enable him to fully integrate his potentialities by exposure and exploration of the Montessori prepared environment.

  • The Montessori pre-school environment will encourage the child's tendencies to follow a natural path of development, working through the sensorial exploration of facts and using the child's own mental capabilities of absorption and sensitivities to the environment at specific times.