The Montessori method
was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1897. Through extensive observation Dr. Montessori developed materials and a prepared environment based on how children are naturally inclined to learn.
Dr. Montessori, one of the first women of her time to earn her medical doctorate, was an activist for women's rights, aided differently-abled people, worked with low income families and traveled globally to create a method of education that fosters a love of learning in all children. She created what is now the worlds largest pedagogy; a method that is loving, practical and adaptable for virtually every family.
Most people who have heard about the Montessori method associate it with preschool or kindergarten. This is because Dr. Montessori's first schools were created for this age group. Later, she expanded her research and work to to include birth, primary, elementary, and on in to adolescence.
Montessori in infancy
Even before they are born children are working to adapt themselves to their world. Constructing themselves to fit in with the country, culture and family they are born into. They are listening, sensing and unconsciously learning all of the time. After birth this transformation continues and is visible to us through observation. When an infant becomes adjusted to the particular climate where they happen to live, or when a one year old unconsciously absorbs the language that are spoken around them and starts to speak it back to us. Dr. Montessori observed the ways that infants learn and expanded upon them, developing tools and changes in their home and school environments to aid in this growth.
Infants go through many stages of development. With each stage there are materials and alterations to their space that can be made to help them learn and grow. When their spaces are well organized and filled with toys that aid them best, children are calmer, more focused and enjoy learning.
Assistance to Infancy
Montessori educators who support the development of children and their families for the stage of birth to three years are called Assistants to Infancy. We are trained not only in applications for the classroom, but also in applications for fostering the development of the child in the home environment. Montessori recognized that in order to have secure attachments with teachers and peers later in life, infants must first have secure familial attachments.