Montessori is an approach to supporting the full development of the human being. The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an ‘aid to life’. As an educational system, it is used in over 22,000 schools worldwide, and has a longer track record of success than any other educational approach in the world.
The Montessori approach to education, inspires children towards a lifelong love of learning, by following their natural developmental trajectory. Children become confident, responsible, independent learners, who trust in their own abilities. The inclusivity and positive social development facilitated by the Montessori programme forms the basis for a persistent attachment to learning and knowledge.
Montessori classrooms provide a specially crafted learning environment where children are able to respond to their natural tendency to work. Children have an innate passion for learning, and the Montessori classroom encourages this by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous, purposeful activities with the guidance of a trained adult. Through their work, the children develop concentration and joyful self-discipline. Within a framework of order, the children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities.
Dr Maria Montessori, a physician, anthropologist and pedagogue, developed her unique method of educating children over a professional career that spanned over fifty years. The Montessori approach was developed through intense scientific observation of children from many ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds from birth to maturity. It is based upon a deep understanding of child development.
In Australia, Montessori education is available for children of all ages with programmes offered for children as young as 8 weeks old to age 18, through early childhood education and care services, preschools and kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools. The number of Montessori schools in Australia is growing steadily with more than 300 schools and centres across the country. The majority of Montessori programmes are operated by not-for-profit, community-based associations, with an increasing number of privately-owned programmes and also programmes within the public school system.
Montessori programmes are also serving children and families in remote, indigenous Australian communities, where the Montessori philosophy unites with the culture and heritage of Indigenous Australians.