Teaching Philosophy at the Melville Montessori
Our school functions according to the following principles:
- Democratic and non-discriminatory principles
- Uphold a multi-cultural and integrated ethos
- Respect for all people, the rights of children, common humanitarian
values and the sanctity of life
- Self discipline is preferred to authoritarianism
- Stressing grace, courtesy and consideration of others with an emphatic
awareness of the needs and rights of others
- Encouragement to become assertive, to voice opinions confidently
and to believe in oneself
- Respect for all religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds
We endeavour to develop the physical and emotional faculties of the
child, to grow his/her whole personality in a holistic manner, aid it
to learn the fundamental qualities that form the basis of good citizenship
so as to live as a respected member of his/her community.
In the Home
The philosophy and methods Maria Montessori developed are based on
universal laws of child growth and can certainly be helpful to your
child. The emphasis on this philosophy is carried out at the school
to the best of the educators’ abilities. To make the results of
each child’s development even more successful, here are some principles
you may implement in your home - although most of our parents instinctively
do so in any event.
Montessori views parents as guardians and not as creators for it is
the child who must create himself. He/she is given special powers for
this task which the parents should seek to understand and collaborate
with. How are parents to do this?
- Parents should develop their innate capacity to observe, enjoy and
empathize with their young. On a practical level, this means a frequent
willingness to suspend the adult’s achievement oriented view
of life and to adopt the much slower pace of the child – a difficult
thing to do!
- The parent could prepare the home environment in which the needs
of the child are met. This implies that as a tiny baby the child must
be accepted into the social life of the family and not isolated in
a nursery, where his/her need to absorb the world about him/her is
thwarted. As he/she grows, his/her need to crawl and eventually walk
must be accepted and encouraged. Playpens, extensive use of push chairs
etc is not necessary and often contradicts the child’s developmental
- As the child grows, she/he wants to touch and handle the same objects
in the environment she/he sees others using. The parent should encourage
this for it is the child’s innate understanding that she/he
must eventually take her/his place in the world as an adult that compels
her/him to this behaviour. Inevitably, the child will want to explore
things in the environment which belong to others. Where possible,
substitution should be made. For example, it is not mom’s pen
but one like it that the child wishes to explore. At the same time
it is very important to remember that the child has no way of developing
respect for its environment and the people within it if appropriate
limits are not set.
- The parents could arrange the home in such a manner that the child
masters its environment and becomes increasingly independent of the
parent’s help. The child’s room should be simple and orderly.
Everything in it should be appropriate for its size and ability: low
shelves with a few well chosen toys, a low table with brush and comb,
mirror, low hooks to hang clothes, basket for soiled clothes, place
to hang up his/her towel, etc
- It is a child’s instinct and desire for work and serious accomplishment
that enable it to develop a healthy self-concept and realistic self-esteem.
Therefore, it should be allowed to observe and participate in her/his
parent’s activities at the kitchen sink or garage work bench.
An appropriate stool helps her/him into the adult’s world. The
parent has only to display willingness for the child to join in such
activities and eventually start making her/his own sandwich or bird
- An overabundance of toys and many hours of television rob
the child of the opportunity for such accomplishments thus creating
an unnatural passivity and apathy toward life.
So, together, parents and educators can work towards a child’s
cognitive and social development, self-discipline, care of self, others