“The foundation of education must be based on the following facts: that the joy of the child is in accomplishing things great for his age; that the real satisfaction of the child is to give maximum effort to the task in hand ; that happiness consists in well-directed activity of body and mind in the way of excellence ; that strength of mind and body and spirit is acquired by exercise and experience”
The goals of a Montessori education are to aid the development of the whole child and to encourage a lifetime love of learning. At the primary level Montessori provides an environment in which the spirit of discovery has a supportive atmosphere and where the child can experiment and take risks with their learning. Developing capabilities such as creativity, initiative, independence, self discipline and self confidence is part of the primary programme. The children are starting to understand how they relate to each other and how they fit into the wider world, and therefore there is an emphasis on being part of the Montessori community (both in and outside the classroom)
Montessori Aotearoa New Zealand
The integrated curriculum connects children’s learning into a coherent whole rather than an unrelated series of facts. The Montessori curriculum and materials provide children with both a structure and the tools on their journey of self discovery. The uninterrupted 3 hour work cycle allows children to complete detailed work and to develop strong concentration skills.
Maria Montessori recognised that “true learning only resulted from the self motivation of the child” and this is what Montessori primary education offers – learning based on the child’s own needs and learning that is meaningful to the child. The Montessori environment is designed to maximize independent learning in both the choice of work and in completing the work activities themselves. Because children learn at their own pace, they can progress at their own pace as well. As the child succeeds in their self chosen activities they are motivated to learn more and their self esteem builds. As the children experience the joy of learning so in turn this develops self confidence.
Montessori education is not just about academic development, it is about educating the whole child – therefore social skills, cooperation, empathy and respect are skills learnt and developed in the Montessori environment. Hence the importance of the mixed age groups within the classroom as well as a non competitive environment and the absence of a rewards based learning system. The children are encouraged to develop a sense of social and moral responsibility towards the community and the environment. As they learn that everything is interconnected (eg climate, crops, culture, poverty and disease) they come to see themselves as part of a bigger picture to which they need to learn to contribute constructively.
When parents at Montessori @ Howick Primary were asked
“why did you send your child to Montessori?”
they answered as follows:
it gives my child flexibility and freedom to learn at his/her own pace
it promotes self directed learning
it’s the best available education system
it instills the desire to learn and value education
it nurtures independence
it offers a unique learning environment
it encourages respect for others
And as for the children – what do they say about their Montessori class?
we get to learn the fun way
we get to choose our own work
the teachers are kind and helpful
people always help each other
Did you know?That Sergey Brin and Larry Page – the founders of Google – have credited as a factor in their success, their years as Montessori students? They said that at Montessori schools they learned to be self-directed and self-starters and that Montessori education allowed them to learn to think for themselves and gave them the freedom to pursue their own interests.
Two of our graduating students wrote the following about their time at Montessori @ Howick Primary:
I will remember my silly and funny friends, and all the wonderful trips that I have been on. I will remember and have enjoyed the past 6 years at Howick Primary School and in Montessori. I will remember most the awesome teachers, my wonderful friends and my friendly classmates. I loved Primary.
I will remember the trips, the friends that I made and the teachers. Most of all how it was to be six and then eleven and I know that these years were worth it