“‘What is Life?’ is our research. The child is the first great researcher. Children are born searching for the meaning of life in relation to others and to the world. Children are searching for the meaning of their existence and the meaning of conversations and customs.”

Carla Rinaldi

“One test of the correctness of education is the happiness of the children.”

Maria Montessori

“Nothing without joy!”

Loris Malaguzzi


The philosophy that guides the teachers of MMS is one that comes from all of our influences—history, traditions, research, extensions of the Montessori philosophy as well as the philosophy of Reggio Emilia. We have used this research to create our own identity of MacDonald Montessori.

The philosophies of Maria Montessori and Reggio-Emilia are characterized by their seamless blending and connections between their theory and practice. Since we have been strongly influenced by them both, we are set with the privileged challenge of doing the same in our own context. Our theory and therefore our practice include attitudes about children, teachers and parents.

The philosophy of MacDonald Montessori believes that children...

  • are capable and full of potential as well as decision makers in their own quest for knowledge and autonomy. Children are searching and creating their own concepts of the world where they can function and learn independently.
  • are born explorers and should be encouraged to express their discoveries in their own languages. They, therefore, have a right to a rich variety of opportunities and materials for giving voice to their theories.
  • children have inherent rights as citizens of the world.

The philosophy of MacDonald Montessori believes that teachers...

  • view collaborative relationships and interactions as the core of our process. Give value to time and the rhythm of the day. Research into the interests of the children and teachers come from the daily life of the classrooms. Respect is given to all these aspects for the learning to show forth the progress.
  • are partners in learning with the children and their role is to act as a resource, and provocateur. The teachers research the learning of the children and offer intentional support as the children construct knowledge. Documentation is seen as a tool to help understand and guide decisions. The documentation comes from observations, photos, and analyzing the work collaboratively.
  • see professional development as not only conferences, workshops and in-services but an essential element of daily life. As teachers examine and reflect upon their work they broaden their vision of education.


The philosophy of MacDonald Montessori believes that parents...

  • enter into the relationships and interactions of our school as the most important people in the life of their young children. There are many opportunities for rich and powerful relationships. The teachers and parents seek to participate in complementary and cooperative knowledge for the well being of the children.
  • have the right to share their time and talents, life and work experiences as well as cultures. Contributions to and collaboration with the school-wide community is to be highly valued. As children have a hundred or more ways to express themselves, so also do their parents. Each family’s history, work experience, extended family, culture and skills add a unique contribution to the school community. There are a hundred or more ways for this participation to unfold.

At MacDonald Montessori, parents, teachers and children are all partners of a learning community with strong emphasis placed on each child’s unique abilities in thinking, reasoning, questioning and experimenting in life. All three protagonists, the teachers, the children and the parents come from many varied and cultural and educational backgrounds but together they form one community that sees all children as powerful and competent individuals.