Maria Montessori envisioned education for the elementary child as holistic, purposeful, and comprehensive. She saw the goal of education as “the development of a complete human being, oriented to the environment, and adapted to his or her time, place, and culture.” There are three key elements in our AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) recognized programs:
1. The Child
All Montessori programs are comprised of mixed ages, in a three to four year age range. There are roughly 10 children of each age in a classroom community at any given time. This mix allows children to be part of a community with younger and older children as well as age peers. The students learn patience and new skills by interacting with and observing children at different stages of development.
2. The Well-Trained Teacher
Children learn in individual ways and at their own pace. The Montessori teacher is a trained observer who will guide each child’s progress in the classroom. Each classroom community at Chesapeake Montessori is guided by one AMI-trained teacher, and one assistant to the teacher. Classroom activities include individual lessons, small group lessons and whole class lessons. Children acquire self-discipline through learning to make choices in their work, learning to plan and manage their school day, and having the opportunity to become deeply involved in their activities. Freedom and responsibility are both developed through purposeful work chosen by the child. Each environment provides appropriate freedom and appropriate limits to ensure a peaceful and busy environment.
3. The Prepared Environment
Montessori classrooms are equipped with specially designed materials to aid the child in acquisition or refinement of skills, to allow exploration of concept, and to make abstract concepts real through work of the hand. Our environments foster a sense of community appropriate to the age of the child. This sense of community grows into understanding of others, a sense of belonging, and a desire to offer help and encouragement to others. Older children are encouraged to apply this sense of purpose to the wider community through service projects.
We invite you to learn more about Montessori education and the life and work of Maria Montessori. The below video was created by Trevor Eissler, a parent of Montessori students and author of Montessori Madness:
Montessori Today, by Paula Polk Lillard
Maria Montessori, A Biography, by Rita Kramer