- Staunton Montessori School, founded in 1980, provides Primary (ages 2.5-6), Elementary (6-12) and, starting in the fall of 2016, Adolescent (12-15) Montessori education for our community. We offer AMI-trained teachers on staff; the elementary teachers also have their Master’s Degrees in Education. Operating as a non-profit entity with oversight by a Board of Trustees, the school is also licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services.
Education and our world are both changing rapidly, and it’s hard to predict what kind of environment today’s children will face when they graduate. One thing we do know: we want them to become successful citizens of the world. Once considered an educational experiment, Montessori is increasingly becoming the blueprint for a new approach to learning—one that’s demonstrating long-term success in both private and public U.S. schools.
This approach to learning was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952), an Italian physician and educator, who believed that education should be based on a child's needs during sensitive periods of development. The core tenets of her philosophy emphasize independence, order, self-discipline and respect for others. Combining this foundation with specialized educational materials makes the Montessori classroom a unique and challenging atmosphere for learning. Dr. Montessori viewed education as not just a means of transmitting knowledge, but as a way to support the full development of children as individuals and as members of a community. The Montessori classroom is a microcosm of society, made up of mixed ages and depending on empathy and cooperation to function smoothly.
While cultures and technologies change, the way humans come into this world and grow up in predictable stages remains constant. Montessori education specializes in guiding children through these stages of growth and helping them learn in interactive and integrative ways that unleash each child’s greatest potential.
Children find learning in a Montessori environment comfortable, enjoyable and engaging. The materials are designed to be motivating and compatible with how the brain works at each age. Children are naturally curious and inclined toward self-management; these characteristics are fostered in a Montessori classroom, developing into a work ethic that is notable among Montessori students.
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