The Montessori philosophy is based on a model of human development, and an educational approach that Dr. Maria Montessori developed to promote the child reaching his fullest human potential. The Montessori method blends theory, philosophy and respect for a child’s natural psychological development, with a uniquely prepared environment to develop the whole child.
By addressing the needs of the whole child, Montessori education presents challenging academic work as well as encouraging the development of responsible, caring people who can direct their own lives in a conscientious and thoughtful manner — preparing children for life as contributing citizens of an ever-changing world.
Highly qualified teachers create specific and beautiful prepared environments, giving children the opportunity to make decisions and choices as they discover their interests and abilities and experience the outcome of their choices. Through discovery and observation children gain confidence and self-esteem and through individual attention and instruction Montessori education ensures that each child is challenged and excited about learning.
Montessori education is structured around four planes of development. At Jarrow we focus on the first and second plane. The classroom environment, curriculum and instruction are designed to meet developmental stages.
First Plane of Development, Ages 0-6
Children possess an absorbent mind, enabling children to effortlessly assimilate the sensorial stimuli of their environment, including information from the senses, language, and culture. The teacher observes the intellectual, physical and emotional needs of each child and matches lessons and experiences accordingly. From ages 3-6 children experience “normalization”. Normalization is characterized by the ability to concentrate as well as exhibit “spontaneous discipline, continuous and happy work, social sentiments of help and sympathy for others.”
Second Plane of Development, Ages 6-12
Children become abstract rational thinkers during this stage. There is also a tendency to work and socialize in groups. The classroom enables more collaborative work and community building. The classroom creates a mini-society where children actively find and create their place in the group. The second-plane child is also doing the work of the formation of intellectual independence. Children are allowed and encouraged to be curious and active participants in their own learning. By choosing what their work is, where they do it, and when and with whom they do it the child continues to develop independence and build confidence