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"The secret of good teaching is to regard the child's intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown to grow under the heat of flaming imagination. Our aim therefore is not merely to make the child understand ... but to touch his or her imagination."

- Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 - 1952) was a physician, scientist, educator, and the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy. Her extensive observation of children revealed certain characteristics common to all young children: Eagerness and love of learning for long periods of time without strain, and a predisposition for learning by doing.

With these characteristics in mind Dr. Montessori created a "prepared
environment", a learning center filled with attractive and self correcting
materials in reading, math, art, science, and practical and sensorial life. Seeing the
task of a small child as the ordering of perceptions and preparing of the mind
for the accumulation of knowledge, Dr. Montessori designed materials that are
enjoyable, attractive and inviting to use. At the same time these materials foster
independence , train the senses, and develop a continuity of effort and passion
for learning. The years between age two and six are the years that children most
easily learn the ground rules of human behavior. Therefore, they must be
respected and treated as individuals.

Children who have had the benefit of a Montessori environment are freer at a
later age to devote themselves more exclusively to the development of their
intellectual capabilities. The method by which children are taught in the
Montessori school involves the use of many materials with which the children
may work individually. At every step of their learning, the teaching materials
are designed to test their understanding and to correct their errors. Children
educate themselves.

The teacher prepares the environment, structures the activities, functions as
a reference person and role model, and offers the children stimulation; but the
children are the ones who learn, who are motivated through the work itself,
and who persist in their chosen tasks.

The basic idea in the Montessori Philosophy of education is that all children
carry within themselves "the adult they will become". In order to develop their
physical, intellectual and spiritual powers to the fullest, they must have freedom,
a freedom to be achieved through order and self discipline.

At Over the Rainbow Montessori schools, we go beyond the standard instruction
in observation, learning and judgment. We add the joy of learning at an early age
and provide a framework in which intellectual and social disciplines go hand in
hand. Our goal is to help the natural process of a child's development and be there
to understand them and support them in every way.

Please click on the "About Us" section above and take a virtual tour of our schools -
we think you will soon see what we mean.

In the words of a child, to quote Elizabeth G. Hainstock,

I hear and I forget,
I see and I remember,
I do and I understand.


  © Copyright 2002 Over the Rainbow Montessori