montessori classroom learning activity with blocks in sand

The Top 5 Gurus of Early Childhood Education Part 3 – Maria Montessori

In the third installment of our “Top 5 Gurus of Early Childhood Education” series, we explore the influential philosophy of Maria Montessori, the pioneering Italian educator whose child-centered approach to learning has left an indelible mark on early childhood education worldwide. Her philosophy emphasizes the importance of respecting children’s natural curiosity and providing a carefully prepared environment that supports their independent learning and growth.

Intrinsic Motivation

Montessori’s belief that “the process is more important than the outcome” reflects her emphasis on fostering children’s intrinsic motivation and love for learning. Intrinsic motivation is a term used to describe the incentive we feel to complete a task simply because we find it interesting or enjoyable.She encouraged educators to observe children closely and follow their interests, allowing them to engage in activities at their own pace.

Self-Directed Learning 

The concept of the “prepared mind and environment” is central to Montessori’s approach. She believed that by creating a stimulating and orderly environment, children’s natural inclination to learn would flourish. The Montessori classroom is meticulously designed with child-sized furniture, sensorial materials, and activities that promote hands-on exploration and self-directed learning.

Montessori’s influence has been far-reaching, inspiring educators worldwide to prioritize children’s individuality, independence, and natural curiosity. Her methods continue to shape early childhood education, emphasizing the importance of nurturing the whole child – cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally.

Peace Education

Another significant contribution of Maria Montessori was her pioneering work in peace education. She believed that education could be a powerful tool for fostering peace and harmony in society. Montessori’s peace education curriculum includes teaching children about respect, empathy, conflict resolution, and cultural awareness. By cultivating these values from a young age, Montessori aimed to nurture a generation of individuals who are not only knowledgeable but also compassionate and committed to creating a more peaceful world.

Interested in learning more about how we implement these ideas into our curriculum? Book a tour to learn more today!

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We visited I’m Just a Kid after visiting 6 other early childhood centers and crying at the thought of leaving our first born after our leave was over! To say we breathed a sigh of relief at finding, I’m Just a Kid is an understatement! We have been a part of the family for 6 years, with our first now in kindergarten and our second child still at I’m Just a Kid. We felt so prepared for kinder and the transition was a breeze thanks to I’m Just a Kid. No matter if your child is succeeding or needing some extra love and attention, the I’m Just a Kid family is there to help your family along the way. I’m Just a Kid really is more than “just” a daycare!
Tara Karns-Wright
I’m just a kid not only taught my daughter, they cared for her like a family member. As an educator, I was seeking a daycare that could meet my needs. We found more than a daycare. We found a place that cared deeply for the social, emotional, academic, and cultural needs of our daughter. Now that she is in fourth grade, we still talk about I’m just a kid and the amazing staff that cared so deeply for her. Thank you I’m just a kid for laying the foundation and helping create a better world through education.
Bradley Tarrance
I’m Just a Kid is a wonderful place for my child, for any child, to learn, to play, and to grow. Mrs. Vicki and her wonderful team of teachers truly create an environment that is safe and loving. My son was having a difficult time at his previous school. We reached out to Mrs. Vicki and through her guidance and support he’s happy again! His teachers are passionate about seeing him succeed and they bring out the best in him. Our family is so grateful for our I’m Just A Kid Family.
Laura Riebesehl
We had our two children at I’m Just a Kid for multiple years ranging from six months to four years old and we were so happy to have them there. They learned, played, and grew every day. The school always had the kids’ best interest at heart, and we always felt they were being well cared for while also learning and growing every day. We are so happy with how well I’m Just a Kid prepared our children for kindergarten.
Kirk M. Tracy

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