“The first duty of an education is to not stir up life, but leave it free to develop.”

Dr. Maria Montessori

The philosophy is based on three equal components:

The Child

A Montessori classroom is comprised of children of mixed ages and genders. We believe that young children possess an “absorbent mind” that allows them to easily assimilate information and understanding through all of the senses. In addition, we believe that children have “sensitive periods” when their interests and abilities for acquiring certain skills are at a peak.

The Adult

The role of the adult in the classroom is best described as a facilitator who observes the readiness and interest of the child and becomes the link between the child and the environment.

The Environment

A Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment. Materials are specifically designed and chosen to provide a sequential, concrete, and attractive curriculum. The opportunities for learning are extensive, but always appropriate to the child. Through touching and manipulating concrete objects and materials, children are introduced to basic concepts in mathematics, language, science, and geography.

Planes of Development

Human Development does not proceed in a linear or constant fashion. Rather, it occurs in periods or cycles. Dr. Montessori referred to these cycles as “planes of development” and divides child development into four planes. Each plane is further divided into phases of attainment and refinement.

First Plane

The child from birth to six is developing physical independence and language. During these early years, the child is absorbing everything in the environment and working to refine and perfect new skills and knowledge. Independence, coordination, concentration, and a sense of order are the forces driving growth and development.

Second Plane

The Elementary child, 6-12 years, wants to move and act for himself or herself. Elementary children are seeking the knowledge of the universe. They ask deep philosophical questions and are on a search for meaning. Imagination, socialization, and moral judgment guide their development.

Third Plane

From 12-18 years, the Adolescent explores how to fit into society and become a part of the larger world. Trust, self-expression, analytical thought, commitment, and responsibility are paramount.

Fourth Plane

The Young Adult integrates all of the aspects of the earlier three stages and is prepared to go out into the world and become a contributing member of their society.