To provide a true Montessori experience through an environment that responds to each child’s individual strengths and needs, as well as inspires them to develop inner discipline, self-assurance and love of learning. We respect the uniqueness of each student by helping each child develop skills during their periods of greatest growth and sensitivity, providing a strong foundation for their intellectual, physical and social development.
“Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment” (M.Montessori).
Following Maria Montessori’s philosophy, Kaban is dedicated to nurturing the child as a whole, beginning with a friendly and warm environment that acts as an extension of their home.
Our Intangible Environment
- Intangible characteristics of the classroom include harmony, hospitality, safety, an environment conducive to wholesome development and enriched with language similar to that of a home, as well as welcoming and understanding teachers who take full interest in the child's development.
Our Physical Environment
- Beautiful but deliberately austere, simple, elegant and very clean. Everything in the classroom is child size, and it is there for an educational purpose, materials are not toys. The classroom environment is rich sensorially and visually as a reflection of reality.
As a part of the Montessori way of life we celebrate all cultures and the knowledge each has discovered through time. We encourage love of work within a framework of freedom, this gives the child the opportunity to grow in responsibility and independence. We practice open and clear communication, this facilitates an involvement between staff, parents and the child, which will ensure an excellent learning environment for all.
Kaban Montessori holds the view that all children are competent, capable, curious and rich in potential. Therefore, introducing the child to the natural, social and practical world is the fundamental intention of Kaban's educational programs. Our purpose is to guide and stimulate the child's mind so that they may not only thrive in life, but observe, question, analyse and improve the world we live in.
Dr. Maria Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, professor, intellectual and educator. From a young age Maria showed great ambition, her thirst for knowledge and unwillingness to be limited by the expectations set for women led her to become Italy's first woman doctor and graduate from the University of Rome’s Medical School. Maria’s early years in medicine focused on the psychology and development of the child. Through her studies in pedagogy Maria became immersed in educational theories, only to create her own in the years to come. Maria approached education using scientific method, she began testing her educational theories when she was appointed co-director of a new training institute for special education teachers. It was through this program that she was able to develop and refine her philosophy. Once her work with special needs children was proclaimed a success, she was offered the opportunity to open a childcare centre in a poor inner-city district. This became the first Casa di Bambini, otherwise known as the first Montessori school. Utilizing scientific observation and her experience gained from her earlier work in the psychology and development of the child, Maria designed learning materials as well as a classroom environment that fostered the children’s natural desire to learn. From this point her philosophy and method spread through Italy and by 1910 Montessori schools were acclaimed worldwide.
The Montessori Method
Maria’s approach to education was shaped around the individual needs of the child. Her Method was built around three basic principles; observation, liberty and preparation of the environment; together these principles help develop a child’s personality as a whole. Maria Montessori concluded from her studies that the first six years of a child’s development are the most important in his/her life. She noted that during this period a child’s mind is like a sponge, she referred to it as ‘the absorbent mind’ due to how effortlessly children are capable of learning during this time.
However, this did not mean that a teacher should be spouting facts and information at the children all day long. Maria believed that this was the time to foster a love of learning in children, so that they may learn to ‘learn for themselves’ and let their genuine curiosity guide them. For this reason the Montessori Method focuses on learning from experience. As a result, classrooms focus on self-directed activities, using materials which expose them to learning through all their senses.
The Montessori environment also places a big emphasis on physical activity, interaction and independant concentration. To encourage these values a teacher’s role is more observational than forceful. They are often referred to as guides or directresses, as these terms are more fitting to their role in the classroom. You will never find the teacher at the front of a class teaching the whole as if they were all the same. The philosophy treats each child as an individual therefore, the environment is adapted to each child’s unique development. Instead you will find the teacher moving among the children, gently making suggestions and helping them teach themselves. This self directed learning, which develops an excitement and love of knowledge, is what is at the heart of the Montessori philosophy.
Important aspects to note about the Montessori Method:
There are two three-hour, uninterrupted, work periods each day for students six and under.
- Designated spaces within the classrom for each of: practical life activities, sensorial, language and mathematics.
Schools will separate children into three-year age groups (three to six, six to nine, nine to 12), to create a learning environment where the older children share their knowledge with the younger learners.
Adults and children respect concentration and do not interrupt someone who is busy at a task. Groups form spontaneously or are arranged ahead however, it is rare that this will take precedence over self-selected work.
There are no grades, forms of punishment or reward. Through teacher observation and detailed record keeping of each child in the class, student success is ‘graded’ on the child’s behaviour, happiness, maturity and their level of work (portfolio).