Dr. Maria Montessori believed the goal of education is "the development of a complete human being, oriented to the environment, and adapted to time, place, and culture." At BHMS, we combine this ideal with the educational philosophy, methods and materials developed by Dr. Montessori over a century ago to educate and prepare students.
It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive.
The Montessori Method
The Montessori Method is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Dr. Montessori’s method has been time tested, with over 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world. Brooklyn Heights Montessori School students learn to think critically, work collaboratively and act boldly/respectfully within a hands-on learning environment.
Child-centered classroom environments provide a wide variety of materials and experiences appropriate to a range of intellectual, emotional, and physical developmental levels. The classroom is prepared by the teacher to encourage independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order. By learning in mixed-age groups, students can focus on their individual progress, not the progress of their classmates. Students who have mastered work are encouraged to advance to new challenges beyond a standard curriculum. Teachers guide the learning by building on each child's strengths and individuality. The classroom offers the responsibility of freedom by promoting gratifying, meaningful work choices.
Concrete materials in the classrooms stimulate logical thought and discovery of abstract ideas. Classroom work is both self-directed and guided, so that students, whether two or thirteen, have the liberty to study how and what interests them within limits established by nurturing, practiced adults. The activities, projects, and assignments are designed to recognize and address different learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses. Materials are available for repetition and mastery, and students are encouraged to share their experiences with others in the school's social setting.
Collaboration among students, teachers, and parents is essential to a school's success. In the classroom communities, students learn by doing and by watching others work. Younger and older students develop natural mentee/mentor relationships. Students remain with the same teacher for two to three consecutive years. In this way, the teacher-student and the teacher-parent bonds become exceptionally strong.