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What is Montessori?

Montessori is a philosophy which is founded on the tenet that a child learns best within a social environment which supports each individual’s unique development. 

Who was Dr Maria Montessori?

Dr. Maria Montessori was, in many ways, ahead of her time. Born in Italy in 1870, she became the first female physician in Italy. She described the child’s mind between the time of birth and six years, as the “absorbent mind” because of the child’s tremendous ability to learn and assimilate effortlessly and unconsciously from the world around them.

In 1906 she founded the first Casa dei Bambini, or “Children’s House”. Through observation, research and work with children she earned a reputation as one of the world’s leading authorities on education and child development. Over the years she developed a myriad of materials designed to help children learn fundamental concepts of math, language and culture. Every piece of equipment, every exercise, every method Montessori developed was based on what she observed children doing “naturally”, by themselves, unassisted by adults.

Surabaya European School's Children's House

Preschool Program (3 to 6 years)

“Help me to help myself”

Our Montessori preschool is made up of three, four and five year olds, in a mixed age setting. This mixed age grouping is a basic tenet of the Montessori method: students working at their own levels of competence, yet having the opportunity to challenge themselves in relating to older students or taking the time to teach a younger student and thus consolidating their own learning.

The Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment filled with materials that invite interaction and activity. Students have the freedom to choose those activities shown to them and to repeat them independently or in a group. They are also directed to balance their choices from all areas in the classroom. With this freedom and guided by interest and ability, children are engaged in an active learning process involving concrete experiences.

This individualised approach fosters the development of good work habits and a positive self-image and becomes the basis for further learning.

Montessori Teachers/Guides

In the Montessori classroom, teachers do not teach as such but rather ‘guide’ the children’s learning.  Montessori guides are the dynamic link between the prepared environment and the children. The class is under the direction of three certified Montessori guides whose primary role is to direct the child’s natural energy and to provide a program that will meet the individual needs of each student. Guides achieve this by keen observation, knowledge, guidance, and the experience that they bring from their training.

Since Montessori education is based on the inner motivation of the child, it is the guide’s role to work with this motivation in ways that will enhance the child’s process of self-creation. The guide sets up and maintains the prepared environment with an atmosphere of calm and order, warmth, care, awareness and joy.

A detailed overview of our Montessori program is available here and many resources explaining Montessori education further can be found here. Our teachers are trained by the following prestigious institutions: Association Montessori Internationale and the North American Montessori Centre.