“The child is capable of developing and giving us tangible proof of the possibility of a better humanity. He has shown us the true process of construction of the human being... The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.”  -  Maria Montessori

Creating an Environment that Supports Natural Development


At the heart of the Montessori approach is the understanding that the child is born with self-activated internal learning mechanisms that enable them to learn from their environment. When we recognize that the child possesses all they need to joyfully and productively engage in their own learning and we are able to create a stimulating environment we can support the child's natural and spontaneous ability for learning.

Born in 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy, Maria Montessori was a remarkable scientist, theorist, humanitarian, and innovative force for educational reform during her lifetime. She became the first woman in Italy to graduate as a doctor of medicine.  Her work in education began during her graduate studies in educational philosophy, psychology, and anthropology at the University of Rome where she would later serve as a professor.

Though Dr. Maria Montessori's educational theories were developed through her experimentation and extensive observations, her methods are now strongly supported by leading neuroscientists, cognitive researchers and educational experts. Her method is a comprehensive educational approach based on her understanding of the child's natural learning tendencies as they move through predictable stages of development. A key element of her approach is the need for a "prepared environment" which meets the developmental needs of the whole child. Because the child passes through different stages of development their environment must also change in order to provide optimal opportunities for growth.


The Montessori teacher guides rather than instructs; steering each student towards materials that meet their interests, abilities and developmental needs. Under the guidance of this trained Montessori guide, the child learns by interacting with the environment, makes discoveries with the Montessori materials, cultivates the ability to concentrate, develops self-discipline and acquires the foundation for a life-long love of learning.  

We invite you to learn more about Montessori methodology.  Below are some recommended sources. 

The Montessori method is best seen in action! We encourage you to schedule time to visit our campus and tour our beautifully prepared environments. Schedule a tour here.

Parent Testimonials

"We chose South Coast Montessori as it is the only school in Santa Barbara that adheres to the core Montessori principals without compromise. They have the best AMI trained teachers and an ideal classroom environment. We couldn't be happier with our decision!"

- The Won Family


"I have two boys here - 3 and 5. The teachers are loving and compassionate and are truly invested in making my boys better people. At South Coast Montessori, the methodology with the primary and toddler aged kids is very play-based, which I love. My boys are able to follow what interests them on that day - whether it be art, creative play, building a foundation for math skills, reading or socializing with their friends."

-The Long Family

“We are so glad to have found this school for our daughter! The teachers are great and the environment is wonderful. It gives me great
peace in knowing that my daughter is happy each day she is here. Thank you!”

-The Walters Family


“After sending Claire through the primary level and beyond, we were still blown away and cannot recommend this program strongly enough. Thanks to her Montessori background, she truly excels in reading, writing, and mathematics. Equally importantly, she has developed a strong sense of self-worth, focus and persistence in problem solving and a grace and courtesy when dealing with both other children and adults.”

-The Welton Family