"Ultimately, in its original intent, [Montessori education]
is a Christian spiritual journey lived out in an
educational setting." (Edward Fidellow)
[Dr. Maria Montessori] was the first woman physician in Italy at the turn of the twentieth century. She worked with "defective" children in asylum situations seeking the most effective ways to help these children. She had such success with nurturing these children (and preparing them for the state exams) that people asked what could she do with normal children.
She was graced with insight into the very nature that God put into the child. Instead of focusing on the child's intellect, she was given an inspiration to focus on the child's spirit, the child's will, the formation of the child's personality and God's unique gifts to the child.
First, Christian Montessori education is Christ Centered. Montessori's biographer states that Dr. Montessori said on more than one occasion her own method could only find its fullest expression when applied to the teaching of the Christian faith. She acknowledged God's providential hand and inspiration in the formation of the method. Her writing is full of scripture and Biblical understanding. Sadly, most of her spiritual Christian content has been ignored or removed by modern practitioners.
God's first purpose for education is for us to discover Him! An education not based on seeking Him is a shadow of what it could be.
The world wants our education to be about knowledge. God wants it to be about wisdom.
An education that does not engage the mind in searching for God forfeits the richness of God hidden in His creation and leaves our children's minds unprepared to contend with doubt and unbelief.
Our search for God is a glorious quest - to seek wisdom, learning, knowledge and understanding.
God's second purpose in education is for us to discover who He made us to be. Our education should be an aid to find out who God made us to be and empower us to grow in all of our talents.
The child is building their personality from within aided by what comes from without. We do not form the child. At best we aid what God intended. At worst we hinder His work.
Discover our Purpose and Passion
The third purpose of education is to help our children fulfill God's intention for them in the world. Throughout the scriptures God commends us to skill and excellence but He also provides for us the passion for our calling.
Our purpose and passion is given to be used to further His kingdom.
Having the education to make a living is important but having an education that makes for eternal life and fulfills God's purpose for time is far more important.
Three Purposes of Christian Education
(Text on this page taken from A Pearl of Great Price by Edward Fidellow,
president of Christian Montessori Fellowship.)