What is Montessori?

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History of Montessori Education

Montessori education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, the Italian physician, psychiatrist, and anthropologist. Dr. Montessori, who lived from 1870 to 1952 dedicated her life’s work to the observation and study of children from infancy to adulthood. Based upon her scientific observations while working with children throughout the world, she developed a set of principles that constitute the cornerstones of the Montessori approach to education.

Lifelong Learners

Founded on the belief that children possess an intrinsic love of learning, the Montessori method embraces a broad vision of education as a tool for life. It provides a framework for engaging students in meaningful work and experiences.  Montessori education provides opportunities for children to cultivate their skills as independent thinkers and creative problem solvers.

Montessori Principles

The Montessori philosophy is based on the principle that all children naturally develop in stages, called planes of development. From birth to age 6, children occupy the first plane, in which they are sensorial explorers who absorb the world around them. Children in the second plane, ages 6 through 12, are conceptual explorers eager to learn and experience the world and their role in it. Around the age of 12, students transition to the adolescent plane in which they are humanistic explorers eager to understand their place in society and to contribute to it.

Montessori programs correspond to the planes of development. The Toddler and Children's House programs serve students in the first plane, approximately ages birth to 6. The Elementary program covers six years and is divided into Lower Elementary (grades 1 through 3) and Upper Elementary (grades 4 through 6). Middle school mirrors the adolescent plane of development, students in grades 7 through 9. SunGarden is pleased to serve children in the first plane of development, preparing them for those next stages of growth.

Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.
— Maria Montessori