What is Montessori Connect?

Montessori Connect is a small, but growing, chain of schools in the Cape Town area. 

What is Montessori Education?

Montessori is founded on the belief that children are capable of self-development and that they will reach their true potential when they are helped to find their own path in an environment that is specifically tailored to their needs at each stage of their development.
 
For most people the word Montessori tends to conjure up an idea of early years education but its scope is not limited to small children. In fact, Montessori offers an approach for life for children right through to adolescence to adulthood. It is not just about schooling it is also an understanding of how best to foster natural development in general.
 
Montessori takes its name from the Italian doctor Maria Montessori who pioneered an approach to education based on her observations of children. This approach has now been active for more than a hundred years.

How is it Different to Traditional Education?

In traditional education adults decide what children need to learn and the ability to retain and reproduce information is used as a measure of academic success. The teacher is the active giver of information and children are passive receivers.

In the Montessori approach it is all about the activity of the child. The teacher takes on a different role, that is, to provide the right kind of circumstances so that children can be guided to find what they need from what is on offer. Children then become active learners and are able to reach their own unique potential because they are learning at their own pace and rhythm focussing on their own particular developmental needs at that moment.​​

More About the Learning Environment

The layout of the classroom encourages exploration, communication and the development of relationships on all levels. Everything reflects a dedication to quality, beauty and to the children’s abilities to do things for themselves. Montessori saw that careful preparation of the environment is an essential ingredient for the successful development of children. She realised that the child relies completely on the environment for the sensorial impressions through which he or she gains a sense of the world in which he or she lives. Montessori therefore paid a great deal of attention to the way in which her schoolrooms were laid out. She wanted the classroom to be a happy, friendly place where children felt at home, where they knew where everything was and where they didn’t always have to rely on adults to help them

Montessori Equipment

Everything in a Montessori classroom is made to be easily accessible to the children. Montessori was the first educator to produce child-sized tables and chairs and to think about the fact that children need to have cupboards and shelves at their own height. She wanted the children to feel that the schoolroom belonged to them rather than the teachers. She knew that order is very important to children and she therefore ensured that everything had its place and that all materials were kept as neatly as possible. She created materials that she saw the children were drawn to and she removed those items in which they showed no interest. She tried to ensure that the materials provided met the interests of the children. It was the children who led her development of the materials and the children who showed her how the environment should be prepared.