Mountainside Montessori is founded on and operates within the educational philosophy developed by Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952), who recognized and respected the natural interests and sensitive periods of learning present in children. The Montessori approach is centered on the development of intrinsic curiosity and on fostering independence, concentration, coordination, self-confidence, and a sense of order. The children work in various areas of the total curriculum which includes practical life, sensorial, mathematics, language, geography, science, culture, art, music, and movement.
Montessori classrooms are organized based on the child’s planes of development.
- In the first plane of development, from birth to age 6, children are sensorial learners, studying all aspects of their environment. The Primary Environment allows children to explore the classroom while using and refining their visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, olfactory, and other senses. This experience prepares them for later work in language and mathematics.
- In the second plane of development, from ages 6 to 12, children are conceptual explorers. The Elementary Environment allows them to use specific materials, then apply their knowledge in order to grasp abstract concepts.
- In the third plane of development, from ages 12 to 18, children are humanistic explorers. The Adolescent Environment helps them to understand their role in society and how to contribute to the world around them. Lessons reveal the relationship between knowledge and responsibility, and emphasize human invention and discovery.
External links to Montessori resources: