Montessori in Windsor

Maryam Farag
By Maryam Farag January 12, 2018 11:47

After more than 100 years, Montessori education remains popular with parents, including many in Windsor-Essex.

Montessori education dates back to 1907, when Maria Montessori opened the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House, in a low-income district of Rome. Her unique philosophy sparked the interest of educators worldwide and in following decades Montessori schools opened throughout Europe. There is now one on every continent but Antarctica.

Maureen Harris, head of Lakeview Montessori school in Tecumseh, is one of the many people who were inspired by Maria Montessori’s philosophy.

“They started a Montessori teacher’s training centre here at this school about 15 years ago,” said Harris. “I was one of the cohorts who went through the first program.”

Montessori is based on helping the natural development of the human being. Children learn at their own pace, follow their own individual interest and teach themselves using materials specially prepared for the purpose.

“We’re also a Montessori Teacher Training Centre. So we’re certified globally to teach teachers to become Montessori teachers,” said Harris.

In Montessori schools, grade levels are flexible and are determined by the child’s developmental range. For instance, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, 12-15 and 15-18 years of age. In traditional schools, grade levels are not flexible and are strictly defined by chronological age within a 12-month period.

“In the preschool we have ages three, four and five together,” said Harris. “The three-year-olds learn from the five-year-olds and the five-year olds get to be leaders and teach the three-year-olds.”

In Montessori, understanding comes through the child’s own experiences via materials and promotion of children’s ability to find things out for themselves.

Learning is based on the fact that physical exploration and cognition are linked and they can work where he/she is comfortable, move around and talk at will while not disturbing others.

“We are going to be at the same level as the top Canadian schools and we are also being credited as a certified Montessori school,” said Harris.

Lakeview Montessori school has approximately 200 students. “The student-teacher ratio in the school is small, where for every 10 children there is a teacher,” said Harris. “Which helps in zooming in on every individual child and create a curriculum for them and accommodate their needs.”

For Montessori elementary level in Windsor, the average fee is about $10,000 a year for a child. For private schools, some of them are around $15,000 and others are around $800.

Maryam Farag
By Maryam Farag January 12, 2018 11:47

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