Creo School follows the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori. The environment is essential to this philosophy. Classrooms provide a prepared environment where all children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work. A prepared environment is one that is constructed with the child in mind. The goal is to have a place where the child would maximize and facilitate independent learning. It is a well-ordered space where the child is able to carry out tasks suited to their varying needs and abilities. Elements of a prepared environment include: freedom, structure, order, beauty, nature, and social opportunities. The Montessori classroom is set-up into many different areas including practical life, sensorial, math, language, culture/geography, history, science, music and art. Maria Montessori stressed the importance of learning through the senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell) and incorporated them into the materials.
The absorbent mind and the sensitive periods are the driving force for exploration for the child from zero to six years old. Montessori realized that young children take in everything in their environment: physical objects, language, people, sounds, and smells. She called this amazing, unique ability of the young child "the absorbent mind." In addition, Dr. Montessori realized that for every child there are sensitive periods for certain experiences that are central to human independence and education. If the sensitive periods are missed, acquiring the knowledge or skill is laborious rather than inspiring to the child. The child from zero to six is constructing herself and the lessons are designed to respond to her needs based on the sensitive periods, the power of the absorbent mind, and the human tendency to explore. These sensitive periods include order, movement, grace and courtesy, refinement of the senses, language, spatial relationships, music, and mathematics. The Children's House child is in the process of self-construction and the child's developmental imperative is at the center of her work. In the Outdoor Environments, the child may pursue practical life activities of gardening or simply take their classroom materials out to enjoy working in the open air. When the weather is inclement, a variety of activities and materials focusing on movement skills are set up in indoor spaces.
Born in Chiaravalle in the Province of Ancona Italy in 1870, Maria Montessori was the first woman to practice medicine in Italy, having graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rome in 1896. As a physician, Dr. Montessori was in touch with young children and became profoundly interested in their development. Through careful and exhaustive scrutiny, she realized that children construct their own personalities as they interact with their environment. She also observed the manner in which they learned as they spontaneously chose and worked with the auto didactic materials she provided. Her approach to education stemmed from a solid grounding in biology, psychiatry and anthropology. She studied children of all races and cultures in many countries around the world, soon seeing the universality of the laws of human development played out before her. She continued her observations throughout her life, widening and deepening her understanding until her death in 1952.
Montessori pedagogy is known as the Montessori Method, however it is not a method of education, it is a program for guides to apply. Montessori was not a teacher… the Alpha and Omega of her pedagogy lies with the children.