Our Mission Statement
The Montessori School of University Heights is a pre-primary school dedicated to helping the child become the unique person his/her Creator intended. This is achieved according to the principles developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in a Christian atmosphere of peace, love, and respect. We provide a prepared environment designed according to the child's needs where s/he is free to develop her/his physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual powers to the fullest in a non-competitive atmosphere that allows the child to develop at his/her own developmental rate according to each child's own capacities. The child gradually develops inner discipline, a sense of self-worth, and a sense of service and respect for others and the world.
Not all of this is totally achieved at the pre-school level because the child is still "becoming." We strive to help the child achieve as much of this as s/he is developmentally able to attain at this stage of his/her growth as a person. Ideally the child should finish our program with a realistic and positive attitude toward himself, others, the world, and life.
The adults present in the environment have a deep respect for each child. They prepare the environment and maintain it by keeping it clean, orderly, beautiful and inviting. One of the adults' main functions is to help the children to make contact with the environment where self-learning and self-development occur.
Our Educational Philosophy
"The most important period of life is not the age of university studies but the first one, the period of birth to age six. For that is the time when man's intelligence itself, his greatest implement is being formed." (Dr. Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind)
Dr. Maria Montessori defined the first plane of development from birth to age six a a time of great creation and transformation. It is during this time that the child's personality, will, memory, intellect, and intelligence are formed. Dr. Montessori recognized that the young child from birth to age six possesses a unique mental capacity which she defined as the "Absorbent Mind." The young child's mind is able to absorb information from the environment like a sponge absorbs water, without any effort at all. It is through the action of the absorbent mind that the child comes to know and adapt to the world. Dr. Montessori observed that the young child experiences "sensitive periods" that guide his/her development. During these sensitive periods the child is intrinsically drawn to focus on certain actions, objects or aspects of their environment in an effort to acquire specific traits and characteristics.
At the Montessori School of University Heights we serve the development of each child as we put Dr. Montessori's discoveries into practice by:
- Providing individualized opportunities for learning: Each child is introduced to the Montessori materials as the child becomes ready. Through working with the materials the child internalizes the concepts embodied in the material. A multi-sensory approach accommodates each child's individual learning style.
- Engaging the child in a loving, caring community: Our multi-age environment, serving children from three to six years old, creates a family atmosphere in which younger children learn from observing the older children. The younger children experience support and encouragement from the older children. Older children gain confidence and leadership skills as they relate to the younger children. They also develop empathy, compassion, and an orientation toward service of others.
- Fostering enthusiasm for life and learning: By providing freedom within limits the child experiences the joy of pursuing knowledge and mastering skills motivated by his/her interests and abilities. The child's natural curiosity and wonder of the world is supported and encouraged assisting the child to become a life-long learner.