At ABC-Stewart, learning is fun. Montessori principles teach us that knowledge is its own reward.
The staff strives to:
- Provide a caring, diverse environment in which knowledge is readily absorbed.
- Observe each child and provide careful guidance.
- Stimulate each student to pursue topics eagerly and independently.
- Encourage learning to occur as much as possible through independent discovery.
ABC-Stewart offers non-graded, individualized, programmed education. It resembles a one-room schoolhouse. Is is a feeling, a philosophy put into practice, an understanding between teacher and teacher, as well as between teacher and child. It works.
Children come to ABC-Stewart from many different home environments and diverse educational backgrounds, and they come with varied strengths and talents. At ABC-Stewart, they are exposed to an environment where the growth of individual potential is the primary educational objective rather than shaping or molding.
The foundation of the school is the work of Maria Montessori, turn-of-the-century innovative Italian educator. The structure of the school might be described as Montessori-and-more, or modified Montessori, for it is built with concepts interpreted according to the insights and experiences of the school's founder/directress, and it grows with the special spirit and innovations which each teacher brings to the school. ABC-Stewart is not a strictly Montessori school.
Some of the important precepts relating to childhood development which Dr. Montessori put forth and which influence the structure of ABC-Stewart program follow:
- Education begins at birth.
- The first few years of a child's life are the most important determinants of his physical and mental growth.
- Gradually, through the normal learning process, behavior patterns are established.
- As a child develops, he enters sensitive periods when he is most receptive to a particular set of stimuli. These periods follow a prescribed order, but vary in pace from child to child.
- The young mind absorbs knowledge at a very rapid rate from the environment.
- The teacher prepares an environment which is responsive to the needs of the learner and which gives the chlid liberty to learn at his own speed and in line with his own interest.
- Montessori's theories hold that children pass through specific, identifiable, unalterable stages of development in every culture and every generation.