"When should such an education begin? Our answer is that the greatness of the human personality begins at birth, an affirmation full of practical reality, however strikingly mystic."
Maria Montessori Education for a New World
Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician and one of the great educators of the twentieth century, pioneered the work with children that we carry on today at Lake Country School. Through in depth observations of children, she designed learning materials to meet their needs and trained teachers to present these materials. In 1907, Dr. Montessori opened her first school, Casa dei Bambini (House of Children), in the San Lorenzo slums of Rome.
In 1929, she founded the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) to continue her work known as the “Montessori Method.” She saw the child as the most legitimate hope for a new world, and her method has been regarded as a movement for world peace. By the time of her death in 1952, she had gained an international reputation as an educator.
Dr. Montessori fervently believed that when children are given the proper measure of guidance and freedom, their inner force enables them to focus on what they need to know and they learn with wonder, joy and confidence. A vital part of the Montessori method is a carefully prepared environment that is beautiful and orderly and includes didactic materials designed to meet the needs of each child at his or her particular level of development. It is the role of the adult to observe and present lessons to the child as he or she proceeds through the stages of development.
Education requires an ethical environment in which the values of the community are respected and the worth of the individual protected. Our philosophy includes the cultivation of the following values:
- Self-reliance and hard work. We facilitate education based on self-inquiry while maintaining school-wide standards of academic excellence. We recognize the intrinsic rewards of the children’s work.
- Respect for other people, including those who live or lived in other places and times. We emphasize the positive advances achieved by humans rather than the wars waged by them.
- International and interpersonal peace. We seek to create situations where children cooperate more than they compete.
- Appreciation of the creative power manifested within the process of evolution and the formation of the universe. At the elementary level, we use storytelling, historical timelines, and impressionistic charts to inspire and inform the children.
Click here for a timeline of Maria Montessori's life and work.
Click here to visit the Montessori Rocks website, hear from Montessori educators, parents and students.
Click here to read about the Montessori pedagogy and what to expect to see in a Montessori classroom.