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The Purpose of Montessori Education

Extract from "A Parent's Guide to the Montessori Classroom" by Aline D. Wolf

Dr. Maria Montessori believed that "no human being is educated by another person". He must do it himself or it will never be done. A truly educated individual continues learning long after the hours and years he spends in the classroom because he is motivated from within himself, a natural curiosity and love for knowledge. Dr. Montessori felt, therefore, that the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate his own natural desire to learn.

In the Montessori classroom this objective is approached in two ways:

1. by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by his own choice rather than by being forced;

2. by helping him to perfect all his natural tools for learning, so that his ability will be at a maximum in future learning situations.

The Montessori materials have this dual long-range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child.

"It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to each individual the chance to fulfill his/her potential possibilities."


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