What Is Montessori?
As an associate of the American Montessori Society and members of the International Montessori Council, Pines Montessori School seeks to foster competent, responsible, adaptive citizens who are life-long learners and problem solvers.
We are committed to promoting quality Montessori education based on these key concepts:
- Learning occurs in an inquiring, cooperative, nurturing atmosphere. Students increase their own knowledge through self- and teacher-initiated experiences.
- Learning takes place through the senses. Students learn by manipulating materials and interacting with others. These meaningful experiences are precursors to the abstract understanding of ideas.
- The individual is considered as a whole. The physical, emotional, social, aesthetic, spiritual, and cognitive needs and interests of the child are inseparable and equally important.
- Respect and caring attitudes for oneself, others, the environment, and all life are necessary.
At all levels, our programs have these basic characteristics:
- Teachers educated in the Montessori philosophy and methodology appropriate to the age level they are teaching, who have the ability and dedication to put the key concepts into practice.
- A partnership with the family. The family is considered an integral part of the individual’s total development.
- A multi-aged, multi-graded, heterogeneous group of students.
- A diverse set of Montessori materials, activities, and experiences which are designed to foster physical, intellectual, creative, and social independence.
- A schedule that allows large blocks of uninterrupted time to problem solve, to see the interdisciplinary connections of knowledge, and to create new ideas.
- A classroom atmosphere that encourages social interaction for cooperative learning, peer teaching, and emotional development.
The Montessori community is noticeably different from classrooms in conventional schools. Children in a Montessori community learn to make choices about their school work. Choosing challenging work or activities from a variety of areas is an important life lesson. Each room is filled with permanent materials arranged in sequence from the simple to the complex. The materials are attractive to a child and invite exploration; each is designed to be self-correcting while teaching the child mastery of a single concept. Materials at the elementary level reflect the more abstract concepts and advanced requirements expected of more mature students.
During the experience of education, children also learn how to move ahead, how to interact, and how to get along. Children are directed toward the understanding that their role in this world is one of cooperation. This leads to an integration of the self with others and with the world.
Our environment at Pines Montessori School is prepared for the child’s exploration and the teacher responds to the child’s interests and needs as she moves to higher levels of learning. The child responds to the order within the classroom and to the lack of restraints on academic pursuits. The child’s desire to learn is encouraged by his freedom of movement as he makes choices among all the materials and lessons with well-trained Montessori teachers guiding him along the way. At all levels the child experiences learning as a limitless opportunity.