Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952) was one of the most important early years educators of the twentieth century and the innovator of classroom practice and ideas which have had a profound influence on the education of young children around the world.
Dr. Montessori was the first woman to graduate from the University of Rome Medical School and became interested in education through her work as a doctor, treating what today are known as children with "special needs". When she went on to establish schools for the disadvantaged children of working parents in Rome, she approached their education as a scientist, using the classroom as her laboratory for observing children and finding ways to help them achieve their full potential.
Dr. Montessori gave the world the legacy of a method of education which combines a philosophy of freedom and self-development for children with a practical approach. Her children's houses, as she termed them, provide a safe, carefully planned and structured environment in which children learn.
Our Montessori centre's aim is to build on this legacy. We believe that all children want to learn and can absorb knowledge without effort if they are given access to activities appropriate for their development by teachers who are trained to observe carefully and respond to their individual needs. The philosophy underpinning our work is one of respect and care for all children: the Montessori teacher is gentle, sympathetic and always looking for the best in every child. Although the approach was developed almost a century ago, the ideas are at the forefront of current educational thinking and remarkably well suited to a time when the need for excellent nursery education provision for all children has at last been recognized.