The Prepared Environment
A room of much beauty.
Activities that attract the child.
Tactile equipment – children need to “touch” in order to learn!
Order of the room and each activity – order is craved for by the child!
Teachers that are specifically trained in observation so they know when to present the “next” step.
A room of much beauty and thought is prepared with materials displayed on open shelving for the child to obtain, after introductory lessons are given, and used to gain the different skills. The room is large enough to accommodate a group of approximately 30 children, grouped in age groups, in order that a true social setting can form, with the younger being inspired by the older role models and the older assisting the younger, thus learning the graces of compassion and acceptance of levels of abilities. Something we as adults may need to be reminded of!
A group of this size can better expose the child to learning activities of a wide range and level of ability, thus inspiring and leading the child to the next step quite easily and naturally! It is through exposure that children “absorb” and that can mean through observation of an activity prior to an actual “hands on” learning.
The structure of the flow of this setting allows the child the opportunity to allow what nature has set in place to continue. Children flow through “sensitive periods” where the learning of a particular ability is simply done with tremendous grace and ease. In this setting is where the child is individually introduced to materials by the “directresses”, who are trained in the skill of observation in order to best present these “lessons”, as they are called, where an activity is presented with great care to the young child. The child is allowed to move from activity to activity, thus enabling him to stay attuned to this inner director that guides him to the purposeful work that nature has set forth for him. In such a setting, of freedom within limits, he is able to learn at a much accelerated rate, for nature has a plan that, if followed, allows for this development to happen earlier than if we, as the adults, try to second guess “mother nature”. Just as it is not we who decides when the child walks or talks, it is true of learning of all sorts.
Special, in-depth training
Caring and nurturing of “The Child”
Understands the needs of “The Child”
Dedicated to the precious “Process of The Child”!
Originally called a “directress”, the Montessori teacher functions as a designer of the environment, resource person, role model, demonstrator, record-keeper, and meticulous observer of each child’s behavior and growth. The teacher facilitates learning. Extensive training is required for a full Montessori credential, taking a year in the least and much more than that in many programs, with the cost ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 per age level course!
A Classical Education
Classical education was thought to improve the learner, not simply to make him more knowledgeable or tolerant or mentally skillful, but better and stronger.
We are not born into culture, we acquire it. And we can loose it.
A trained and formed mind can pose the ‘great questions’ – what should men believe about life; how should they live it; in what state of society can the good life be best lived; and how can we create such a state.
Everett Dean Martin said, “An education is not the mere possession of knowledge, but the ability to reflect upon it and grow in wisdom”.
Liberal education ought to aim not just at furnishing the mind with serviceable knowledge and information, not even at habituation the mind to rational method, but at leading it to wisdom, to a quality of knowledge tempered by experience and imbued with understanding.
A “Liberal Education” is an education that makes us free – which sets the mind free from servitude of the crowd and from vulgar self-interests….Education is simply philosophy at work. It is the search for the good life.
The teacher cannot instill virtue; he can only prepare the mind for it.
Our world might be an accomplished one, but is it a wise one?
Our people might be a comfortable people, a smart and ingenious people, but are we a free people?
Giamatti, who addressed the freshman class at Yale in 1983 said, “I believe a liberal education is the liberty of the free mind to explore itself…to draw itself out, to connect with other minds and spirits in the quest for truth. Its main goal is to train the whole person to be at once intellectually discerning and humanly flexible, tough-minded and openhearted; to be responsive to the new and responsible for values that make us civilized.”
The ancients knew that any society marked by unbridled appetites competing for control and satisfaction would quickly reduce itself to barbarism.
Moral muscle, being not inborn, must be firmed up before the Good Society can be achieved; goodness in the polis, but first goodness as individuals.
Early humanistic education began with the cultivation of character. Whatever intellectual feats a man might bring off, they were of scant value if he had not first achieved a goodness and tranquility of soul.
Education is often compared to the cultivation of soil in ancient writings, as well as in those of the Renaissance. As plants are cultivated to grow strongly so as to be fruitful or beautiful, so must the human mind be pruned and weeded if it too is to become “cultivated”.
Men become builders by building houses, harpers by playing the harp. Similarly, we become just by doing just acts, brave by doing brave acts.
Education should preserve and transmit the past so that cultural memory is lengthened, and so that descendants will not be left to rediscover human truths already endured and expressed by eloquent forebears.
Many of the worlds greatest thinkers and leaders have received a clasical education. Here are a few of them:
Born around 428 BCE Plato is considered (along with Socrates and Aristotle) to be one of
the founders of what we now call a classical education. His teachings laid the foundations for the way that Natural Philosophy, Science and Western Philosophy are now taught. For more informtaion see Wikipedia
Thomas Jefferson the third president of the United States and one of the founding fathers of the nation received his classical education at a school in Virginia. He is considered to be a polymath and one of the greatest Presdients of the country. For more information on the education received by Thomas Jefferson Wikipedia
Dr. Maria Montessori
Born in 1870 at time when it was not fashionable for girls to receive a classical, well rounded eductaion Dr. Maria Montessori attended a technical school for boys and latter became the first woman to graduate from the medical school at the University of Rome and was the first femal doctor to practice in Italy. For more informtaion see Wikipedia
Alexander the Great
Educated by Aristole, Alexander was one of the greatest miltary leaders ever known. Until his premature death due to disease he was undefeated in battle and ruled over an empire that stretched from Europe to Egypt and India. For more informtaion see Wikipedia
Born around 550 BCE, the teachings of Confucius were centered on morality in all aspects of life. His philosophies were introduced to Europe by Jesuite priest Matteo Ricci in the 16th century. For more informtaion see Wikipedia
Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, Nobel Laureate (for literature) and honorary citizen of the United States received his education at Harrow school in England and although he did poorly at school and resented the time he spent there the education he received profoundly influenced him for the rest of his life.Wikipedia
Educated both in India and England Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi used peaceful means to campaign for civil rights both in South Aftrica and in India. For more informtaion see Wikipedia
Benjamin Franklin, polymath and one of the founding fathers of the United states of America, attended Boston Latin School which holds a classical education as the basis for it cirriculum. Wikipedia