At our core, we are a Montessori school, which means that we follow the philosophy and practice set forth by the work of Dr. Maria Montessori. Each classroom has at least one Montessori credentialed teacher, or guide. We are deeply moved and inspired by the work of Dr. Montessori, and her vision of a peaceful world. Dr. Montessori was an Italy’s first female physician, whose talent for teaching was first recognized for the work she did with mentally disabled children. After teaching these children to read and write – and ultimately perform better on tests than their ‘normal’ brethren, Dr. Montessori was charged with developing a school for the poor children of San Lorenzo’s working parents. Dr. Montessori was the first education reformist who scientifically observed children and based a curriculum around her observations of how they learn. Her observations, materials, and practices continue to be proven scientifically as effective and consistent with human development. Dr. Montessori observed that children must experience something in order to know it, and she believed, ‘There is nothing in the mind that was not first in the hand’. Dr. Montessori observed that learning is most powerful when it is self directed, when multiple senses are engaged. That even the youngest child is capable of great concentration. We know now that it is through these experiences with concentration, people are changed. They feel and act differently – they learn self-confidence, self-motivation, and self-regulation. They become more peaceful, more engaged, and more connected – normalized – she called it.
We believe that between birth and six years, a child undertakes the awesome task of constructing themselves as a person. As such, all facets of a child’s development must be addressed – social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual. As the child works to construct him or herself, we respect their activities as such, and refer to the activities that they engage in as work.
We know that children learn through play. We value play and in the context of our Montessori environment call this play transformative play. Transformative Play is when children are transformed through sustained collaborative play or experiences with expressive or didactic materials.The Portland Montessori Collaborative endeavors to support each child, to nurture their own perfect natural development in the context of an authentic Montessori education.
The Portland Montessori Collaborative provides the highest quality of care for our community’s youngest members. Our staff shares a vision and a passion for supporting healthy development in children, specializing in birth to six. The Portland Montessori Collaborative is born of this shared interest and dedication. By coming together as one school, we will share our resources, knowledge, and enthusiasm, while maintaining the intimacy and home-like environment we value. We maintain our commitment to attracting and retaining highly qualified and committed staff and teaching resources, while providing a venue for both children and adults to reach their full human potential. While remaining true to the pedagogy of Dr. Maria Montessori, we cultivate a deep commitment to exploring the arts and sciences, nature and outdoors. At our core, our mission is a social movement for world peace and environmental sustainability.
We follow a pedagogy and philosophy rooted in the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori because her educational model embodies ideas of interconnectedness and respect for one’s self, others and the environment. Dr. Montessori’s didactic materials are unparalleled in meeting the unique developmental needs of children under six. Most are made intentionally from wood and natural materials to connect children to the natural world – to invite inquiry and investigation. All of our lead teachers, or Guides hold teaching credentials from accredited Montessori Teacher Training Programs, and many hold Master’s in Education from Loyola College. Our teachers work in partnership with our families to foster a community devoted to the guiding principles of an authentic Montessori education. These principles include respect, tolerance, and a lifelong love of learning.