Life of Dr. Maria Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) is best remembered for her philosophy of education, known as Montessori Philosophy. She was an Italian physician and educator who devoted her life to study and develop the most effective education philosophy for children. Her committed works in the field of education has nominated her with Nobel Peace Prize in 1949, 1950, and 1951. Montessori philosophy was endorsed and financially supported by great minds such as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edision, Mahatma Gandhi, Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, Hillary Clinton, and the list goes on.
Montessori Philosophy believes that education must be parallel to each child’s own strength, interest, needs, and learning styles.
With this in mind, all Montessori activities are student-centered. The role of teachers is only as guide to ensure each student master each development stage in an orderly manner. In Montessori Schools, students study using special apparatus, which carefully designed to maintain students’ natural interests in exploring and mastering new knowledge or skills. Despite the extensive coverage of knowledge and skills (Practical Life, Language, Culture, Arts, Physical Education, Science and Social Science); all subjects in Montessori are interwoven and not isolated from each other. As a result, Montessori students would have a better understanding about the world and things around them.
Another interesting feature of Montessori School is the Mixed-Age Classrooms (6-9 years old, 9-12 years old). The Mixed-Age classroom creates an atmosphere where students learn to help each other. In this helping situation, the helper would refine his skills and gain self-esteem for his capacity to master the skills and knowledge, while they one that being helped is naturally challenged themselves by the mastery of the helper. Scientific studies show that Mixed-Age Students have significantly more positive attitudes toward school, themselves, and others as compared to the Same-Age one, and this method does not compromise student achievement.
Montessori philosophy has no limit on its application as it was built based on the extensive works with ‘special’ and normal students at various environments (public schools, private schools, etc).
The ‘Green Philosophy’ is added to our core Montessori concept as part of our responsibility toward nature. In Green Montessori School, we always update our students with various environmental issues and encourage them to actively support Environmentally Sustainable Actions.
Few examples of our ‘Green’ Activities: Protect Rainforest Campaign with Green Peace, Planting Coffee and Vegetation seeds in Sumedang (to boost local production), Green Life Campaign with Green Radio FM (students’ solutions to minimize environmental damages was aired).
In Green Montessori School, we strive to provide the best Islamic foundation that fosters peace and harmony in life. Through Montessori Teaching, the Islamic subjects are taught through role-play, story telling, discussion, self-reflection, and give real contribution to the community.
Each Islamic subject is not taught in isolation, but integrated into the whole curriculum; hence our little Muslims may understand and practice the Islamic Values in their daily lives.