Dr. Maria Montessori believed that all children possessed an innate curiosity and love for learning that would naturally inspire them to pursue a journey of discovery.
“And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment.”
- Maria Montessori
Montessori observed that children are motivated through the work itself and that children, like adults, learn best when they are actively doing rather when they are only receiving facts. Establishing concentration, determination, and purpose during early childhood leads to assured, inquisitive, collaborative learners. Specifically, children who are encouraged to observe, deliberate, and evaluate experience the joy of learning. Montessori is a method of learning and teaching intentionally designed to prepare children for success in an increasingly complex world.
Maria Montessori was born in Chiaravalle, Italy, on August 31, 1870. The only child of Alessandro and Renilde Montessori, she was a curious, strong-willed girl and, as a teenager, made the decision to study medicine at a time when women had very few professional options in Italy. In 1896, Montessori was the first female to graduate from the medical school at the University of Rome, thus becoming Italy’s first woman physician.
As a doctor, Montessori chose pediatrics and psychiatry as her specialties and treated many poor children who sought care at free clinics. During that time, she observed that all children, regardless of their socio-economic background, were intrinsically curious and were instinctively motivated to pursue an understanding. These early observations became the foundation on which Montessori conceptualized an educational theory that would have a profound global impact.
A scientist guided by a compassionate and pioneering spirit, Montessori spent much of her life studying and researching how children engage and learn. She saw that children learn best when they are actively and independently exploring and that this process is a natural pathway for developing critical cognitive, emotional, social, and physical skills. Over time and from exhaustive research, she refined a presentation and designed learning materials that are used in present-day Montessori classrooms. Montessori was a visionary who championed an educational experience that fosters teamwork, critical thinking, and global awareness, the skills children need for success in today’s world.
STEAM project-based learning integrates seamlessly with the Montessori approach as both are hands-on, inquiry-based, and experiential educational models. STEAM illuminates the intrinsic relationship between science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math through investigative probing that reveals how the subjects intersect. Together, Montessori, which is foundationally multi-disciplinary, and STEAM shape a deep learning program that progresses in complexity and depth as a child advances.
With this new and exciting school, we understand there will be questions that we’d love to answer!