Montessori at Riverton

Posted - Oct. 5, 2001 at 9:11 a.m.



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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

The name Montessori has come to represent excellence in education. I recently spoke to Jeff Whitehead of Montessori at Riverton and he told me why.

Jeff explained that the Montessori legacy began with Maria Montessori, a well-educated Italian woman who believed each child is born with a unique potential to be revealed. While growing up, Maria realized her own potential and broke gender barriers to become the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree. While working in Rome at a psychiatric clinic, Dr. Montessori gained an interest in children and how they learn. She took charge of a group of children living in a slum on the outskirts of Rome and changed their lives. Her success there gained world attention.

She was soon invited to speak at Carnegie Hall and presented an exposition of her work in San Francisco, where she received two gold medals in education.

During World War II, Dr. Montessori was forced into exile from Italy because of her anti-facist views. She went to India and continued her work and later was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize. After her death, her methods spread throughout the world.

Jeff told me that the Montessori method of following the child shows through in the school’s curriculum. Teachers recognize that they are the child’s role model, resource person, demonstrator, record keeper and observer of behavior and development. Teachers spend hours of preparation outside of class time preparing lessons and activities based on the consideration of each student’s needs.

Montessori at Riverton provides a comprehensive curriculum to children ages 2 _ through eighth grade. The curriculum matches national standards set forth in mathematics, social studies, science and literacy. The school also provides instruction in practical life penmanship, computer technology, fine arts, foreign languages and healthy lifestyles. Overall, Jeff told me that the school, following Dr. Maria Montessori’s methods of teaching, creates a love of learning—a love that children truly need.

For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I’m speaking on business.

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