The future King of England, Prince George of Cambridge famously attended a Montessori nursery and the demand for Montessori education is growing in the UK, but what makes this approach to child development different and how could it benefit your child?
What is Montessori?
Montessori education has a holistic approach which aims to develop the whole child, not just key, statistically measured areas. Children in Montessori settings are encouraged to explore the world around them and to learn through the activities they take part in. The most fundamental element to the approach is the belief that a child’s early years (from birth to six years old) is the period of time where they have the greatest capacity to learn.
This autumn parents can take a world-recognised short course in Montessori over four weekends in London or Cardiff to gain a new insight into child psychology, learning and education. Montessori supports each child’s natural curiosity and desire to learn from birth and into the preschool and primary levels and beyond. It helps children to develop academically, emotionally, physically and morally. Key features include:
Environments designed for children – child-sized equipment and resources laid out on accessible low shelves
Mixed age groups mean children learn by watching older children and benefit from helping younger ones
No fixed timetable - each child works at their own pace and without interruption
Freedom for children to choose their own activities from suitably challenging options
Children learn to respect and contribute to their community and the environment
Notable Montessori alumni include the founders of Google, Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The approach was developed by Italian doctor Maria Montessori who observed how children learnt for themselves and developed resources and activities to support their natural development with great success.
Louise Livingston, Director of Training at the Maria Montessori Institute, which runs Montessori schools for 2-12-year-olds in London and is the only UK training provider to offer Association Montessori Internationale courses, says:
“Montessori recognised that children could learn most effectively when they were given the opportunity to choose what to explore and experience for themselves. Our AMI Assistants Certificate course will give parents a totally new perspective on their children’s development in just four weekends.”
The AMI Assistants Certificate is suitable for parents, grandparents, families and anyone working in education or early years or with children. The course is based on the original teachings of Maria Montessori and will also prepare you to work as a Montessori classroom assistant in the UK and anywhere in the world.
The Maria Montessori Institute is running the course in London for each developmental stage identified by Maria Montessori - 0-3, 3-6 and 6-12 years. The 3-6 course will also run in Cardiff. The course costs £825 if paid in one instalment.
If you think this is something you would be interested in or have more questions about then I really recommend visiting www.mariamontessori.org/training where you'll find more information about the courses and more about Montessori learning and the history behind it.