"The child's development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him.
We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, an art which can be practised to perfection only when working among children." - Maria Montessori
What is Montessori
Summed up as simply as "Aid to Life", Montessori is profound and detailed in practice. It requires a deep understanding of, and respect for the child from the adult, to carry through Montessori philosophy in educating the child. It is an education that believes that a human, from birth, has a natural ability to learn and take himself to the higher level of independence, which is the definition of 'education' in Montessori. This is a life-long process. A job of educator, according to Montessori, should be to nurture and assist that natural ability. Education of human must go beyond that the transfer of knowledge from teachers to students, passing examinations, and receiving certificates or degrees
John Wyatt Montessori uses AMI-approved Montessori curriculum from North American Montessori Teachers' Association (NAMTA).
Montessori curriculum has a far-reaching scope compared to general educational curricula that focus on technique and time-frame of imparting knowledge. The pinnacle of Montessori curriculum is peace. Maria Montessori believed that education is the only genuine mean of bringing a lasting peace among men. Along with academic topics, the details of which you will find below, Montessori curriculum fosters skills needed to make global citizens who work for peace. These skills are self-discipline, respect for others, appreciation of diversity, creative and critical thinking, communication and conflict-resolution.
The development of human before adulthood can be divided into four periods, or in Montessori term, 'Four Planes of Development' as follows
First plane (Birth - Age 6):
Children of this age group learn at the unmatched rate compared to any other planes of development. Absorbent mind is the term coiled by Maria Montessori on the special way and the great ability children of this age possess, that allow them to absorb from their environment like a sponge. This is when children are sensorial explorers, using their senses to collect information of their surrounding, and forming their intelligence. It is a time children go through a drastic physical change that transform a newborn to an independent being at the end of the period
Second plane (6-12 years old):
Children of this age have the strongest ability to use imagination and logical thinking. It is the most stable time of the child. Their readiness and openness to learning are limitless. This is taken care by Cosmic Education, a curriculum developed especially for this age group. Capitalizing on children's imagination, Cosmic education enables them to sort out and classify all knowledge available to them. This is also the distinct time when children form morality. Cosmic curriculum subtly addresses this crucial development, preparing children to be fair and responsible members of the society.
Third plane (12-18 years):
Third plane is another phase of a great transformation when at the end of this period children physical appear as fully grown. This is a time when children would like to explore their places in the society. They want to know how they can use their knowledge to make a positive effect to the world, and how to attain the financial independence. Children of this plane of development, in a way, are similar to children of the first plane. They need practical life activities to sustain their interest and to assist their intellectual development. This is the time when hands-on activities in form of long-term projects are initiated and carried through by adolescents, along with adult guidance. Emerged at the end of this plane is a fully grown adult in appearance.
Forth plane (18-24 years):
This is the time of maturity and adulthood. As physical growth becomes stable, young adults of the fourth plan are ready to be productive members of the society. Young adults enter this period with skills and capacities to support their own lives and even others. During this period, they spend time acquiring specialized skills as far as he or she would like to explore. Together with high morality and responsibility, they are ready to work for the progress of humanity.