The value of Montessori
What did Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Helen Keller have in common? They were strong supporters of Montessori education in the United States. Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel founded the Montessori Educational Association at their Washington, D.C., home. These exceptional people, along with countless others, recognized value in the Montessori Method.
Montessori is an educational method based on the works of Maria Montessori. Maria was one of the first female physicians in Italy in the early twentieth century. Her clinical observations of how children learn combined with her desire to help children led her to give up a university chair and her medical practice to teach children.
Dr. Montessori analyzed how children learn and the effects of the environment in which they learn. She found children are motivated by a natural curiosity and teachers should prepare an environment to cultivate a student's natural desire to learn.
In contrast to the strict schedule and discipline in traditional schools where too often "[t]he result is children who are disorderly because order had been imposed upon them, lazy because they had previously been forced to work, and disobedient because their obedience had been enforced (Maria Montessori)", the Montessori Method encourages students to explore their natural curiosities and as a result become actively engaged in learning.