The Montessori Method is one of the most successful disciplines of learning which carries international recognition. Dr Maria Montessori saw that children learn best through experience and that it encourages a deeper and more consistent understanding of language, mathematics, science, music, social interactions and much more. She found that happy self-motivated learners form positive images of themselves as confident, successful people and created specially designed resources to foster independence and a love for learning from an early age.
St. Nicholas Montessori Centre was founded as an education trust to maintain the training started by Margaret Homfray and Phoebe Child, two former students of Maria Montessori. Based in Princes Gate, London, by 1971 the Centre held full-time, part-time and Saturday courses for Montessori educators. St. Nicholas Montessori Centre continued to expand and flourish.
In 1998, Montessori Centre International (MCI) was established through the collaboration of London Montessori Centre, founded by Lesley Britton, and Montessori St. Nicholas Charity, merging the work of two internationally acclaimed Montessori centres. Originally based in Balderton Street, London, MCI later relocated to St John’s Wood, offering blended learning Montessori training for educators worldwide.
Since 2020, MCI has focused on collaborations with STAR accredited settings, working with Host and Beacon Centres, to prepare their own delivery models across the UK and overseas. The recent collaboration with Leeds Beckett University’s Carnegie School of Education, to establish the UK’s first International Montessori Institute, is significant in strengthening the accessibility of Montessori education training.
As a pioneer of early year’s education, Maria Montessori (1870 to 1952) has left behind a legacy of early year’s pedagogy that celebrates the individual child. Recognising the child’s capacity for leading their learning in a well organised environment, that offers rich learning opportunities under the guidance of a well prepared educator.
Understanding the history of the approach and Montessori’s fundamental values supports educators to carry the same values in their own practice, working within the 21st Century.