WHO WE ARE
The Montessori Academy, located in Decatur, Georgia, is committed to the Montessori principles set forth by Maria Montessori, celebrating diversity in our community, being a family-centered institution, furthering an understanding of how young children learn, and sharing that knowledge with parents and the educational community at large.
WHO WE ARE
The Montessori Academy reflects the rich cultural, ethnic, and economic diversity of our neighborhood. We employ best practices that have evolved out of Montessori education over the past 90 years. Involving parents in their
children’s educational lives reflects an important aspect of our mission. We are deeply committed to the better understanding of what education for young children is about. We are especially dedicated to sharing these emerging understandings with parents and the broader educational and social service communities.
Dr. Maria Montessori, one of the first female physicians in Italy, began working with special needs children soon after graduating university. She found by giving these children simple tasks to do they became more focused and not so “special needs” anymore. Dr. Montessori developed a very hands-on, instinctual method of teaching children that has been popular all over the world for more than one hundred years, including here in the United States.
The Montessori method of teaching focuses on the process of learning, rather than the end result. As parents new to Montessori become accustomed to this method, they learn their child may not necessarily have a “finished product” when it comes to his or her work, rather there may be five or six versions of it that, upon further inspection, gets closer to perfection as he or she reach the end of the lesson.
Dr. Montessori discovered that children are capable of amazing things at a very young age. She found that when children feel confident in their ability to contribute to the community they have a more positive attitude towards learning.
Additionally, Dr. Montessori felt that learning should begin at home. Many Montessorians feel that Montessori philosophy should be carried throughout all areas of a child’s life, not just in his or her school setting. In addition to what the kids learn in the classroom, the Montessori Academy focuses on parent education and believes without a proper foundation, a child’s education will surely not be as strong as it should be.
Dr. Montessori’s primary philosophy about teaching was to “follow the child.” To Montessori educators this means we are to let the child guide us into what they would like to learn. For example, in the primary classroom (ages 3-6) the main area of work is referred to as “practical life/sensorial.” Work in this area consists of scrubbing tables, washing dishes, pouring, sweeping, wiping, dressing boards, and taking care of dolls. Children, as young as three, have the ability, and the need, to do and have meaningful work.
“Freedom within limits” was another large part of Dr. Montessori’s teaching philosophy. Freedom within limits refers to the concept that children should be free to do what they’d like in the classroom within the limits the teacher has set for them. A teacher will give a child a set amount of things to do for the day but then allows him or her to have the freedom to do preferred tasks within that work for the rest of the day.