New Montessori School Designed Follow Philosophy of Its Founder

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 21, 2004 | Go to article overview

New Montessori School Designed Follow Philosophy of Its Founder


Byline: Kim Mikus

A new building, sitting on 1.7 acres with two ponds attracting geese, ducks and other animals, is a perfect setting for a school, says teacher Donna Mishra.

This is part of a dream come true for Mishra who recently opened Prairie View Montessori School, 2624 Ginger Wood Parkway in Aurora.

The setting for the school fits in with the Montessori philosophy in that the atmosphere and classroom is "more like a home," said Mishra, who teaches and is the director.

Montessori is a philosophy based on psychology, she said.

Early in the 20th century, Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy's first woman physician, developed educational materials and methods based on her belief that children learn best by doing, not by passively accepting other people's ideas.

It was an innovative learning idea where learning should occur in multiage classrooms where children at various stages of development learn from and with each other.

The Aurora school is open to 3- to 6-year-olds. A 2-year-old class will be added in March.

Mishra opened the school with the help of her husband, Prashant. He worked with the architects to make sure the design was a match for young children. For example, door handles, light switches, toilets, tables and chairs are all size appropriate.

The environment at a Montessori school is different than a traditional school. "Montessori is a philosophy where the child's spirit demands what they learn," Mishra said. Montessori teachers believe that children learn more by touching, seeing, smelling, tasting and exploring than by just listening. …

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