Montessori school of ojai

The Montessori School of Ojai is founded on the vision of Maria Montessori.

As the parent of young children, Dr. Victoria Matthews developed an interest in the Montessori Method and moved with her family to England in the early ‘70s to study at the St. Nicholas Training Centre in London under Miss Child and Miss Homfray, both of whom had studied and worked extensively with Dr. Montessori. Upon Vickie’s return to the U.S., she joined several families in establishing Ojai Valley Children’s House, which later changed its name to the Montessori School of Ojai. Vickie established our MSO teacher training for all staff, allowing the school to maintain a strong connection to the original teachings of Dr. Montessori.

Stability and a strong sense of community are hallmarks of MSO’s history. Today, MSO continues to flourish under the leadership of Janet Lindquiat-Lang who has been a part of the community since 1991.

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the montessori movement

The Montessori movement is recognized to have begun when Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first woman physician, opened Casa dei Bambini, or “House of Children” in Rome in 1907. It was here that she was given the opportunity to teach and study fifty poor children from the desolate streets of the San Lorenzo slum. Through her observations, she came to believe that every child has an inborn desire and ability to discover, explore, and learn, and that the human mind is constructed to do so from their environment.

Based on this recognition, Dr. Montessori developed “a prepared environment” carefully designed to support the young child’s “absorbent mind” and assist the child’s complete development. The prepared environment is a fundamental aspect of Montessori education, stemming from the underlying philosophy of providing children with the optimum tools to help them achieve self-reliance and education.

Over the next several decades, Dr. Montessori built an impressive network of schools, teachers, and materials based on Children’s House. During World War II, while forced into exile from Italy because of her antifascist views, she lived and worked in India where she developed Education for Peace, and developed many of the ideas taught in her training courses today. She was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.