Our philosophy of education
At Kita am See, we rejoice in the basic tenet of Montessori: that children naturally want to. We believe that even the youngest child delights in seeing—and mastering—how the world works. Our teachers respect each child’s individual interests and abilities. Free to follow their own inner dictates, children acquire an ability to learn which is essentially unlimited; free to explore in pre-prepared environments, they develop a sense of purpose, process, completion—and, ultimately, success.
Nearly everything within our walls is child-sized. Children “work” with authentic Montessori materials including a wide range of high-quality, age-appropriate materials, including objects such as wooden blocks, sand trays and textured fabrics, to name just a few. All of our materials are designed to be self-teaching; our children learn to solve problems, see natural connections in knowledge, learn skills related to practical living, and therefore expand their imaginative thinking.
Operating according to the principle of freedom within limits, we inspire children to work at their own pace, either alone or with others. Our teachers encourage the growth of self-motivated, independent children by balancing active, self-directed learning with small group collaboration and peer teaching. Classes comprise a range of ages and abilities. Older, more experienced children take on the role of peer mentors for our younger children, thus reinforcing their own skills and experiencing the responsibility of leadership. Younger children, in turn, enjoy the daily stimulation of older role models, meaning that children of all ages learn to respect each other in a warm atmosphere of acceptance and joy.
Maria Montessori observed that children are very focused on processes, rather than ends. Every Montessori teacher can tell stories of children who carefully polish a mirror until it shines beautifully. The adult may then move to put the mirror away, but the child will often start the polishing process all over again! Our most important role is to help children to be active, make choices, and practice actions until they master them. At our nursery they will experience with a wide variety of content (art, music, language, science, math, social relations) because each is important for the development of a complex and integrated brain.
The daily life of our “Little Butterflies” is divided into phases of material work and phases of operations in harmonious confluence.