Respect for children and recogniton of their dignity and worth as human beings are fundamental to the Montessori classroom. Montessori recognises in children a natural ability and desire to learn; the Montessori materials awaken this desire and channel the child's curiosity into a learning experience. The Montessori method of education stresses the need for children to learn at their own pace: thus indivudual learning is an important feature of the class.

The Environment: The Directress prepares an environment which is suited to the needs of the children. On a practical level, furniture and shelves are child-sized to encourage independence and elimiante unnecessary help from adults. The children have the right to work independently, to choose their own activities and to pursue these for as long as they wish. It is a non-competitive environment where the children can develop as their interests lead them from one level of complexity to another. They work in groups composed of individuals of various ages, abilities and interests. It is a living environment with a great sense of community.

A.M.I.: The Association Montessori International (A.M.I.) was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1929 to protect the integrity of her work. Only A.M.I. Montessori colleges offer A.M.I. internationally recognised courses. Similarly, only people with A.M.I. qualifications can use the title A.M.I. for their schools.

The Directress :The Montessori teacher is more accurately called the Directress because her role is to direct the natural energies of the child. She is, firstly, a very keen observer of the indvidial interests and needs of each child. From these observations she introduces the children to new materials when they are ready. She carefully watches the progress of each one of the children and keeps detailed records of their work with the materials. During group activities, usually at the end of the day the Directress will lead the group in music activities, read and tell stories, and listen to the children share their news with each other.


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