Pre-School Cape Town.
Maria Montessori Pre-School.
13 Garrick Road, University Estate, Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: 021 447 7547
mariamontessori@mweb.co.za
Montessori School Southern Suburbs.
 

This small Montessori pre-school for children from 2-6, was opened in April 1994 by Jenny Mason BA (Hons); AMI Dip (London).

Learning is fun!

Anyone entering a Montessori environment for the first time is likely to be as astonished as I was when, having studied law, I spent a morning observing children at the school attached to the Maria Montessori Training Organisation in London.

I shall describe some of my first impressions that made me certain I was not going to be a human rights lawyer as I had previously planned.


At first glance, I noticed that children were self motivated, moving freely, at their own pace. Individuals and groups were choosing and completing activities independently in an atmosphere of co-operation and focussed concentration. It was not necessary for discipline to be enforced by an adult.

In this mixed age range, the younger children were busy with the practical life activities that so engage this age. Two young children (perhaps just 3 years old) were scrubbing a table with extraordinary attention to fine detail, chatting every so often while older children were painting, writing, reading and calculating into the thousands. The children worked and solved problems without adult intervention.

Cape Town Pre-School

Educated playing.

I then noticed the directress who was working with a young child. She was extracting graded cylinders from a wooden block and replacing them, in slow motion. The child watched without moving a muscle. When the directress has completed her presentation, she tucked in her chair, smiled, and moved away. The 2 year old then began doing just what she had observed. After about twenty minutes or so the child began to explore a number of other ways of working with the material.

Clearly this had been a presentation of material new to the child. So different from any methods I had ever encountered.


I observed no fear of failure or competition. Children delighted in their own achievements and those of their peers.

 

Personal tutoring.


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