The new education known as Montessori method of education was introduced by Maria Montessori. It is based on two simple truths: That children must be respected, and that children spontaneously love learning. It is also based on the principles that a child is not a tabula rasa- empty head that must be filled. A child is not empty but has some potentials for life. Everything the child needs is within him. Montessori method of education is child-centred – the teacher known as the Directress or Director is to guide, direct, serve as a role model to the child. The child has some rights which must be given to him. A suitable working condition which we call ‘a prepared environment’.
The right and the interest of the child are taken into consideration in the new education. In this new method, there is no competition, no grading. Each child learns at his own pace. The adult links the child to the prepared environment and leaves the child.
We believe that the way a child learns is quite different from how adult learns. Children are endowed with natural powers which make them to learn effortlessly. Children learn without trouble. They learn better between age 0-6. It is easier for children to learn at this age group. Children can speak 3-4 languages effortlessly. Children play and learn. They work for self-construction therefore, they should be given stimulating, challenging or purposeful materials to work with. Their interest lies in the process of the work. For instance, a child picks one thing after the other. As the child moves he is developing. The adult is interested in the end result. The child uses the environment to perfect himself while adult uses himself to perfect the environment.
The Montessori method of teaching aims for the fullest possible development of the whole child, ultimately preparing him for life’s many rich experiences. To the young child we give guides to the world and the possibility to explore. Montessori teaching is to individual instead of groups.
Maria Montessori believed that a child needs to develop intellectually, socially and emotionally. Hence the Montessori curriculum is divided into five areas. Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics and Cultural Subjects. The curriculum is much broader than many other programmes. It emphasises on self-discipline. The Montessori materials (teaching aids) are carefully designed with control of error. The routine of the programme is well arranged and based on the principle of freedom. The curriculum helps the children to become critical thinkers, solution providers and great communicators. Maria Montessori said ‘Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.’