Philosophy of Learning

  • A child learns as a whole person. Children develop and learn across all areas – physical, social, emotional, moral, aesthetic, and cognitive. All of these areas interact.
  • A child progresses through stages of cognitive development. Children vary widely in their learning rates, styles, and personalities. All areas do not develop at the same rate, even within the same child. We focus on the successes of each individual rather than on what the child doesn’t know.
  • A child is an active, not a passive learner. Children learn by doing. Our learning environment of centers, projects, and learning experiences fosters active learning. The teacher is a facilitator of learning, not just a giver of knowledge.
  • A child constructs her own knowledge of the world. Children learn from personal interaction with their surroundings, from direct experience with real objects, from talking and writing about their experiences and ideas, and from applying what they have learned.
  • A child’s learning is individual. Children are unique. They need access to different learning styles and open-ended experiences. Instead of comparing them to each other or to a certain timeline of learning.
  • A child’s learning is a process. Children learn to problem-solve by being personally engaged in solving problems. They learn social skills by interacting with others. We use the process approach to learning where children learn skills in the process of becoming readers, writers, and problem solvers.
  • A child learns best when the activity is meaningful and relevant. The more meaningful an activity is to children, the more they understand, learn, and remember. Learning activities are centered on children’s interests and needs.
  • A child learns from social interaction. Children learn from interacting with each other. They learn by observing differences in others. As they work together, they discuss differing viewpoints and learn to explain their views and ideas. We use social interaction in learning centers, group discussions, cooperative groupings, and peer tutoring to foster social interaction.
  • A child learns by imitation. Children learn by imitating their parents, their teachers, and their peers. Modeling is a powerful educational tool in multi-age classrooms.
  • A child’s emotions impact his learning. Children’s emotions and feelings directly interact with learning. When they are interested in a topic, they enjoy learning. Gaining self-confidence in their abilities helps children to love learning.


Montessori and your child A Primer for Parents By Terry Malloy1974 All Rights Reserved Published by Nienhuis Montessori USA, Mountain View, California