What is Montessori?

The Montessori Method is a philosophy that respects the unique individuality of each child.

The main concept of Montessori is to promote the joy of learning. This joy of learning develops a well-adjusted person who has a purpose and direction in his or her life. Children, who experience the joy of learning, are happy, confident, fulfilled children. ​

Dr. Montessori believed in the worthiness, value and importance of children. Her method does not compare a child to norms or standards that are measured by traditional educational systems.

It is founded on the belief that children should be free to succeed and learn without restriction or criticism.

It is also an approach to education that takes to heart the needs, talents, gifts, and special individuality of each child. It is a process that helps children learn in their own way at their own pace.

Another important skill it teaches is self-reliance and independence. It helps a child to become independent by teaching him or her life skills, this area is called Practical life. Montessori children learn to dress themselves, help cook, put their toys and clothes away and take an active part of their household, neighbourhood and school.

Montessori works in a methodical way. Each step in the process leads to the next level of learning.

Benefits of Montessori

  • Teachers facilitate the learning experience

  • The learning method inspires creativity

  • System is highly individualized to each student

  • Beneficial in developing certain skills

  • Curriculum focuses on- hands-on learning

Learning Can Be Fun

When a child plays, he or she is learning concepts for abstract learning. Repetition of activities is an integral part of this learning process.

For young children, Montessori is a hands on approach to learning. It encourages children to develop their observation skills by doing many types of activities. These activities include use of the five senses, kinetic movement, spatial refinement, small and large motor skill coordination, and concrete knowledge that leads to later abstraction.

For a grade school child, Montessori encourages a child to proceed at his or her own pace onto abstract thinking, writing, reading, science, mathematics and most importantly, to absorb his or her culture and environment. Culture includes interaction with nature, art, music, religion, societal organizations and customs.

A Montessori teacher or instructor observes each child like a scientist, providing every child with an individual program for learning. The Montessori directress is there to guide the child in a structured and orderly environment with freedom to explore and learn.

Most of all, Montessori wanted to help free a child’s mind to be unfettered to learn without any negative input. It is success oriented in that almost everything is self-teaching and self-correcting.

The children learn by doing and by experimentation.

The main goal of Montessori is to provide a stimulating, child oriented environment that children can explore, touch, and learn without fear. An understanding parent or teacher is a large part of this child’s world. The end result is to encourage lifelong learning, the joy of learning, and happiness about one’s path and purpose in life.

Benefits of Montessori

  • Focuses on key developmental stages

  • Encourages cooperative play

  • Learning is child-centered

  • Children naturally learn self-discipline

  • Classroom environment teaches order

History of Montessori

Montessori education was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician. She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children’s learning processes. Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Montessori designed a “prepared environment” in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities.

Now, nearly a century after Maria Montessori’s first casa dei bambini (“children’s house”) in Rome, Montessori education is found all over the world, spanning ages from birth to adolescence.

Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. A classroom whose children have varying abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes.

Research studies show that Montessori children are

well prepared for later life academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situations.

Useful Resources

Discovering Montessori

Montessori schools aim to create a calm, child-centered learning environment with an emphasis on personal responsibility. Children are encouraged to take care of their own belongings and personal needs, such as cleaning up after themselves and packing away their work.

Montessori Schools aim to nurture a healthy self-esteem and sense of independence, allowing children to make their own choices and teaching them basic skills like pouring themselves a glass of water, putting their shoes on the right feet and even helping mom with the washing.

Learning moves from concrete to abstract, from the big picture to small. The child makes the connection or abstraction when he or she is ready, a Montessori teacher serves primarily as a guide to discovery rather than providing direct instruction. The teacher makes a connection between the instructional materials, and the children literally self-teach many skills, in independent activity.

Children can choose their own work, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t any structure. The classroom is very structured in its design and in how a lesson is taught. However, the child is given the freedom to learn how to make choices and do work that is engaging to him or her.

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