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Montessori Education

IMSP’s academic programs stimulate cognitive, social, and emotional growth within a safe and supportive educational environment. Our classrooms cultivate each child’s natural curiosity and independence. The task of the teacher is to create dynamic learning environments where each student can learn in ways that are appropriate for his developmental level, abilities, and learning style. 

Our program is divided into four multi-age classrooms, each of them corresponding to a developmental level in a child's life; transition to a higher level is determined by each child's own readiness. The student advances from Toddler (18 months to 3 years old) through Primary (3 to 6 years old) and Lower Elementary (6 to 9 years old) and finally to Upper Elementary (9 to 12 years old).

As students progress along our academic continuum, they take ownership of their education and acquire life-long learning skills and habits. This accomplishment will enrich their lives, in their next schools and beyond.

Our Primary and Elementary classrooms also provide an integrated Czech Program which is recognized and approved by the Ministry of Education. This allows our Czech students to transfer smoothly into their secondary schools, without requiring special admittance procedures or entrance exams. 

The Montessori Method of education was developed over a hundred years ago by the renowned physician and educator Dr. Maria Montessori. Innovative and daring in its time, the Montessori Method could not be more fitting in ours. Montessori children are known for strong academics, independence, leadership, initiative, creativity, and self-discipline. At IMSP, we seek to provide authentic Montessori education to develop 21st century skills – core knowledge and the richest learning experience possible. We encourage children to make meaningful connections through interdisciplinary studies and to constantly challenge themselves through critical thinking and creative problem-solving.  

Montessori education is designed to adapt to and fit a student’s needs, interests, and development while still teaching core academic subjects and fundamental skills.  Trained as a pediatrician and psychiatrist, Dr. Montessori developed her educational method over a period of about 30 years, systematically studying the interaction between child and environment. With proven insights, she created an alternative approach to education, one that revolves around the child’s natural curiosity and developmental level. The detailed and comprehensive compilation of philosophical, curricular, and material elements comprise the Montessori Method practiced by Montessori schools around the globe.

“The goal of Montessori education is to foster a child’s natural inclination to learn,” states the American Montessori Society. At a Montessori school, the teacher, environment, and child form a learning triangle. The classroom, meticulously organized with Montessori learning materials, is designed to allow movement and collaboration. Teachers guide rather than instruct, encouraging independence, sense of order, and freedom within limits. Mixed-age classrooms foster peer learning and cultivate leadership among older students.

As an innovative Montessori school, IMSP follows these key Montessori Principles. 

  • Learning through exploration and discovery, with concrete, hands-on materials.
  • Respect for the individual and recognition of individual learning styles and paces.
  • The balance of freedom and responsibility in the classroom (freedom within structure).
  • Respect for each child as a competent learner, and trust in the child's basic desire to learn.
  • Noncompetitive work which compares only to the child's previous accomplishments.
  • Opportunities for both independent and cooperative activity.
  • Social and learning environments designed to help children believe in who they are and what they have the power to accomplish.

To learn more about the Montessori Method and Montessori education we recommend visiting the American Montessori Society or this article What You’ll See in  A Great Montessori School by Maitri Learning.

 

Dr. Maria Montessori was an innovator from the start. Born in 1870 in Italy, she graduated from medical school as the first woman doctor in Italy.  Early in her career, Montessori's attention, bolstered by habits of scientific observation, was drawn to questions of child development and education. By January 1907, she was eager to implement her ideas and to explore what she felt were possibilities untried with young children up to that time. As a result, Montessori opened the Casa dei Bambini, or Children's House, in a tenement building in Rome.

Given carefully prepared materials and new opportunities to learn, the children in that first Montessori environment grew in ways that seemed astonishing. They developed remarkable coordination, concentration, persistence, the ability to observe and discriminate, and a sense of order. Their abilities led to confidence in themselves, which in turn allowed them to undertake even more complex tasks. Under the guidance of the "directress", the children chose what they wanted to work with, and Montessori found that in the security of the Casa, where materials were always available and help toward the next step was always forthcoming, the children were soon choosing to work with materials that corresponded precisely to what they most needed at that moment to learn. Since their work was self-motivated, the children learned eagerly and thoroughly. They were well on the way to developing independence essential both then and now to satisfaction in life - the psychological strength, or confidence, to choose goals for themselves, and the physical and intellectual abilities necessary to achieve them.

Her unique philosophy sparked the interest of educators worldwide. As news of the new education system flourished and spread throughout the world, Dr. Montessori began to travel to help spread the method and to help train teachers in this new method. In the following decades Montessori schools opened throughout Europe, in North and South America, and, finally, on every continent but Antarctica.

In 1929 Dr. Montessori established the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) to support the swell of Montessori schools, teacher education programs, and national organizations around the world. In the United States, Montessori caught on quickly, propelled by prominent advocates and glowing media reports. But by the 1920s the movement had fizzled, and 40 years would go by before Montessori schools would return in substantial numbers.

The leader of the American revival was Nancy McCormick Rambusch, a vibrant, persuasive educator intent on bringing about change. In 1960 Dr. Rambusch launched the American Montessori Society, the first—and still the largest—of several modern-era organizations supporting Montessori in America and around the world.

The Montessori Method was developed by Dr. Montessori through scientific observation of children. Today modern research is proving her original observations of children and how they learn.

Dr Montessori was truly an innovator in the fields of education, early childhood education, childcare facilities and child development as well as a renowned scientist of her day. The practice of early childhood education throughout the world has been touched by Dr. Montessori’s work. Her early innovations, including lowering furniture to children’s heights, have become commonplace. Her observations, which affected child theorists like Erik Erikson and Jean Piaget, have affected the momentum of children’s education. Most significantly, she was a pioneer in children’s rights, leading to a change in how educators, parents, and communities viewed the children in their care. Her work, in Montessori schools and for all children, is felt throughout the world today.

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