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Philosophy and History

Statement of Philosophy

The Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes is an Indiana private school that acknowledges the impact of critical learning periods on developing social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and moral competencies.

The influence of a Montessori education respects the uniqueness of each person and preserves and nurtures an innate capacity to reach full potential as contributing world citizens. The essence of Dr. Montessori’s method is to allow for the development of natural human characteristics and to help children as they adapt to their culture.

The curriculum at this Indiana private school is grounded in the universal laws of human development that include movement, language, order, work, self-discipline, exploration, abstract thinking, imagination, and creativity. A major goal of the Montessori program is to help children think for themselves and to be actively involved in the educational process. This is accomplished through activities directed by Montessori-certified professionals working in concert with students and their families.

Our curriculum provides for the concept development and skill acquisitions in prepared classrooms with a focus on learning by doing. Our methods enable students to develop respect for individual differences as they engage in purposeful, collaborative learning. Our students use inner discipline, concentration, and task completion for lifelong critical thinking and discovery.

To read more about Montessori theory, click here.

History of The Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes

In the fall of 1969, our school began as an American Montessori affiliate under the name Little Flower Montessori, located in the basement of Little Flower Church in South Bend, Indiana. Families were drawn  to this wonderful little preschool, and enrollment rapidly grew.

In 1980, after eleven years in several different locations, the Early Childhood building on Day Road was dedicated by the Reverend Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., President of the University of Notre Dame. This location was thanks to a gift of property at by Mr. and Mrs. Donald Cressy and the fundraising efforts of many founding families.

On August 1, 1989, the newly constructed Elementary/Adolescent facility was dedicated as the second building on the current Montessori campus. All programs were consolidated at the Edison Lakes campus and our school officially became known as "The Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes."
In 1998, the wing containing our full-sized gymnasium/auditorium, Junior High classroom, presentation room, and art room was opened, completing the expansion of our school that began so many years ago in a church basement.

The Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes Timeline

1969  Founding of Little Flower Montessori
1970  Established as an Indiana not-for-profit corporation with a governing Board of Trustees
1978  Accredited by the American Montessori Society
1980  Early Childhood building dedicated at 530 East Day Road in Mishawaka
1982  Elementary program begins in downtown South Bend
1985  Purchased building at 624 North Notre Dame Avenue in South Bend
1988  Junior High program opens at the Notre Dame Avenue site
1989  Newly constructed Elementary/Junior High facility dedicated; all programs consolidated at the Edison Lakes campus; officially became known as "The Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes;” The Montessori Teacher Academy established
1991  Accreditation of The Montessori Teacher Academy
1994  Establishment of the Montessori Preschool Classroom at the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, Indiana, in commemoration of twenty-fifth anniversary
1996  Accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS)
1998  First annual Fall Frolic race held on campus, in support the Montessori Classroom at The Center for the Homeless
2003  Dually-accredited by the American Montessori Society and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS)
2010  Re-accredited by the American Montessori Society and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS)

If you would like to learn more about MAEL’s philosophy and history, please contact us.


The Montessori Academy History