What is Montessori?

What is the Montessori philosophy?

The Montessori method of education was pioneered in the early 1900s by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. It is a system of education that is both a philosophy of child growth and the means to guiding that growth. 

Children have a developmental need for freedom within limits and the carefully prepared environment of a Montessori school guarantees exposure to materials and experiences that develop intelligence, and physical and phychological abilities.

Young children have the unique ability to develop their own capabilities.  In more traditional schooling  discipline and reward are external motivators.  The Montessori philosophy believes that children will learn to be  self-motivated, needing skillful guidance to direct them to the possibilities of their young life, but the children themselves must direct their response to those possibilities.

What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?

Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, and reading. Learning is an exciting process of discovery for children leading to self discipline and a love of learning, motivation, and the ability to focus. 

Naturally,  children love to learn,  but traditional education wastes time making it boring, “sit here”,  “line up there”, “wait for everyone else”,  “hurry up.”

Montessori children learn at their own pace and are able to master what they are studying before moving on to their next choice of activities.  A child that has mastered a learning objective does not have to wait for the next lesson until every other student has also mastered the task.  Montessori schools recognize that children are diverse in their interests and talents. One teaching plan does not fit everyone.

Each classroom has hundreds of possibilities for our students to choose from, and is being upgraded on a continual basis. Children learn in multi-age classes and in which the older students share their knowledge with the younger students. 

Montessori is a completely different approach to education and has proven to be very effective for over 100 years.

What is the role of the teacher in the classroom?

Montessori teachers are taught to observe and keep extensive records on the interests and progress of each individual student. The teacher controls the learning environment in the classroom and in this way builds on the natural tendencies of the child to explore, to create, and to focus on the task at hand.

What special training do Montessori teachers have?

The traditional training is at least one year of graduate level work for each of three levels of multi-age classes while serving three years as an aide in a Montessori school. We have at least one certified Montessori teacher in each classroom, with an aide who is often a teacher in training.

Are Montessori schools religious?

Our school is independent of any religious affiliation. It is our firm belief that it is important to nurture the spirit of the child and to respect all religions and spiritual beliefs.

Are students free to do what they want in a Montessori classroom?

Students are free to move around the classroom at will, to talk to other students, to work with any material whose purpose they understand, or to ask the teacher to introduce new materials to them. They are not free to disturb other students at work or to abuse the materials.