The Mission Statement & Philosophy
Elizabeth Ann Seton Montessori School provides a premier, Montessori- based education, within a fully integrated Catholic curriculum, in a joyful and nurturing environment.
Elizabeth Ann Seton Montessori School combines the Montessori Method with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, to provide a quality, affordable, spiritual education that is faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. The curriculum unites the philosophy and teaching method of Maria Montessori with the catechetical approach to the religious formation of the child developed by Sofia Cavalleti and Gianna Gobbi. Seton Montessori School seeks to nurture the child’s desire to learn and grow through providing a Catholic environment for the moral, physical, emotional, social, and mental development.
Elizabeth Ann Seton Montessori School is founded on two solid pillars:
The Montessori Method of Education and the teachings of the Catholic Church
Montessori Method of Education
The Montessori Method of Education is based on the teachings and philosophy of Maria Montessori. Her life and work are two deeply united aspects of her persona. Born on August 31st, 1870, Maria Montessori was raised in a upper-class, Roman Catholic family. Although Maria’s time period placed little emphasis on woman’s education and work, she achieved degrees in medicine, philosophy, and psychology while becoming a passionate advocate for the Child.
Maria Montessori opened the first ‘Casa dei Bambini’ or Children’s House in Rome Italy to assist in the child’s intellectual, moral, and psychological development by providing for the child’s need to move freely, to develop their will , and repeat activities through the work of their hands.
Maria Montessori recognized the dignity of the human person within the child. She believed education must be an ‘education for life’. Education is not something imposed on the child, but the child must be actively involved. Education must take into account the developmental stage of the child which she theorized as “planes of development’ and periods of brief surges of interest towards a particular task she called “sensitive periods”. These periods assist the child in the development of skills such as walking, writing, speaking, or reading.
Maria Montessori observed that the child from birth to three seemed to absorb and take in everything from their environment which she referred to as “the Absorbent Mind”. The child absorbs all sorts of impressions and then begins to classify these impressions. The child from three to six becomes self-aware and starts saying ‘I’ or ‘me’. The child is becoming aware of himself as a separate being. This is a critical time of consolidation. Impressions are classified through being revisited. Through the child’s refinement of movement and languages, finer classifications are made. The development is a movement from the unconscious to the conscious. This development is not an instantaneous, intentional force of the will, but a slow, gradual process. The child is not independent, but needs the adults help. All these sensorial impressions and classifications are building blocks of the intellect. The absorbent mind is non-discriminatory and unselective; it should be offered the best environment because the environment will shape the intellect profoundly.
The adult in the Montessori Environment is called a “directress or guide”. Their role is to prepare the environment, present materials for the child’s use, and guide the child in their exploration. The adult is a dynamic link between the environment and the child. At Elizabeth Ann Seton Montessori School, the Children’s House is geared to helping the child learn about the world God created for them, their relation to each other, and to work together with parents in their vocation to raise children who will love God and desire to serve Him.