Who is Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori was, in many ways, ahead of her time. Born in the town of Chiaravalle, in the province of Ancona, Italy, on August 31, 1870, she became one of the first female physicians in Italy upon her graduation from medical school in 1896. Shortly afterwards, she was chosen to represent Italy at two different women's conferences, in Berlin in 1896 and in London in 1900.`
In her medical practice, her clinical observations led her to analyze how children learn, and she concluded that they build themselves from what they find in their environment. Shifting her focus from the body to the mind, she returned to the university in 1901, this time to study psychology and philosophy. In 1904, she was made a professor of anthropology at the University of Rome.
Her desire to help children was so strong, however, that in 1906 she gave up both her university chair and her medical practice to work with a group of sixty young children of working parents in the San Lorenzo district of Rome. It was there that she founded, on January 6, 1907, the first Casa dei Bambini, or "Children's House." What ultimately became the Montessori method of education developed there, based upon Montessori's scientific observations of these children's almost effortless ability to absorb knowledge from their surroundings, as well as their tireless interest in manipulating materials. Every piece of equipment, every exercise, every method Montessori developed was based on what she observed children to do "naturally," by themselves, unassisted by adults.
Children teach themselves. This simple but profound truth inspired Montessori's lifelong pursuit of educational reform, methodology, psychology, teaching, and teacher training--all based on her dedication to furthering the self-creating process of the child.
Maria Montessori made her first visit to the United States in 1913, the same year that Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel founded the Montessori Educational Association at their Washington, DC, home. Among her other strong American supporters were Thomas Edison and Helen Keller.
In 1915, she attracted world attention with her "glass house" schoolroom exhibit at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco. On this second U.S. visit, she also conducted a teacher training course and addressed the annual conventions of both the National Education Association and the International Kindergarten Union. The committee that brought her to San Francisco included Margaret Wilson, the daughter of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.
The Spanish government invited her to open a research institute in 1917. In 1919, she began a series of teacher training courses in London. In 1922, she was appointed a government inspector of schools in her native Italy, but because of her opposition to Mussolini's fascism, she was forced to leave Italy in 1934. She traveled to Barcelona, Spain, and was rescued there by a British cruiser in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War. She opened the Montessori Training Centre in Laren, Netherlands, in 1938, and founded a series of teacher training courses in India in 1939.
In 1940, when India entered World War II, she and her son, Mario Montessori, were interned as enemy aliens, but she was still permitted to conduct training courses. Later, she founded the Montessori Center in London (1947). She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times--in 1949, 1950, and 1951.
Maria Montessori died in Noordwijk, Holland, on May 6, 1952.
Our Mission—To educate all children to their human potential
Our school is a dynamic community of active learners with children, parents, teachers and community members sharing in the learning process. Our programs cultivate motivation, self-discipline and the love of learning in children; qualities that will serve children well throughout their lives. Our efforts are focused to foster the development of children who are:
Key Montessori Principles at Walden Green Montessori
Child-Centered Learning The focus of activity at Walden Green is on children learning, not teachers teaching.
Hands-On Learning Direct contact with real objects of study bring learning concepts to life and allow children to understand them more deeply.
Intrinsic Motivation Each child’s own internal motivation is fostered through freedom of choice and independent activities.
Focus on Individual Development Children progress at a personal pace and receive individual attention from teachers as they move through each area of learning.
Cooperation and Collaboration Children are encouraged to work in partnership with others and treat each with respect and kindness. Child as Spiritual Being Walden Green Montessori recognizes each child as a full and complete and human being and celebrates the spirit within each child.
Global Understanding The curriculum at Walden Green Montessori is international in its heritage and focus, and consciously seeks to promote a global perspective.
Service to Others Community service initiatives within the classroom, school, and beyond help promote the ideas of stewardship and compassion.
How does Montessori prepare my child for the "real" world?
Let’s start by defining the “real” world... At your job, is everyone the exact same age? Is everyone sitting at their desks, doing a similar thing at the same time? Are they doing tasks that require them to access knowledge, off the top of their heads, in a timed setting? OR... Do you have different people with different levels of experience working with you? Do you collaborate with your colleagues on projects? Do you need to be able to set up work, concentrate on it, keep it organized, and put it away? Do you have to be able to work independently, and work in a group? Do you need to try things and discover that they work or don’t work? Do you need to be able to problem solve? Communicate effectively? Montessori IS the REAL world.
What does a Walden Green graduate look like?
Children at Walden Green Montessori will receive a holistic education that challenges them to reach towards their fullest human potential. Each student will partake in the process of becoming: