The Montessori Method of education is a unique approach to learning. Rather than “teaching” the child concepts, the environment is designed to stimulate the child’s interests and learning capacities spontaneously. The environment allows the child to act independently and to be a participant in his own education. When the child is allowed to make choices and see the results of these, his self-esteem and confidence are built creating a more self-reliant, happy, and independent child.

Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori Method, was an Italian physician and educator who had the distinction of being the first woman to practice medicine in Italy. As a physician, Dr. Montessori worked with young children and became profoundly interested in their development. Through careful and exhaustive observation, she came to the realization that children construct their own personalities as they interact with their environment. She also perceived their strong inner drive to learn as they spontaneously chose and worked with the didactic materials she developed.

Montessori studied children in many countries around the world and realized the universality of the laws of human development. She continued to work tirelessly throughout her life, deepening her understanding of the child and adding to her educational method.

Dr. Montessori believed that a child’s full potential – physical, intellectual, and emotional – can be reached only if the child is given the opportunity to develop through the exploration of the environment. Montessori education exposes children to the physical and cognitive structures of a highly prepared environment that create an inner discipline and spark their innate curiosity and motivation to learn. Patterns of concentration and attention to detail, when established early, produce a confident, competent learner in later years.

maria-montessori

Montessori vs. Traditional Schools

Montessori School

Teacher has guiding role and meets each child individually; child is an active participant in learning.

Traditional School

Teacher has dominant role; child is a passive participant in learning. Each child learns the same thing.

Montessori School

Instruction pace encourages internalization of information. Child identifies own errors through self-correcting tools. Child reworks until no errors are made.

Traditional School

Instruction pace set by group norm. Work is corrected by the teacher; errors viewed as mistakes.

Montessori School

Comprehension and repetition reinforce feelings of success and learning.

Traditional School

Relies on rote memorization, rewards and punishment to externally motivate learning.

Montessori School

Values concentration and uninterrupted time for focused work cycle to develop.

Traditional School

Values completion of assignments, memorization, and short class times that are heavily scheduled.

Montessori School

Three-year-age cycle in classrooms encourages mentoring and leadership skills which aids in child’s ability to be assertive and confident. In addition, children are able to work at individual levels and feel good about where they “are” in their learning ability.

Traditional School

One-year age cycle with children at different learning abilities trying to learn the same thing. Some are ahead and some are behind but all move at the same pace.

Montessori School

Individualized learning.

Traditional School

Standardized learning.

Montessori education is built on the idea that all learners are individuals. The curriculum allows children to develop skills at their own pace, working alone or in groups. Students may move freely throughout the classroom and socialize while learning to respect others’ work. The freedom to choose assists the child in constructing key executive functions such as inner discipline, cognitive flexibility, and working memory.

Students are grouped into classes that span three years. These mixed-age classrooms provide a greater range of curriculum options and reduced competition. Older children mentor and teach younger ones, building confidence and competence. Peer learning also promotes cooperation and a sense of community. This flexibility and focus on social skills allow learning to be tailored to the needs of the individual, regardless of ability, learning style, or social maturity.

For more information on Montessori Education, please review our website, especially the Parent and Student Handbook, and/or visit the sites below. We also encourage you to make an appointment to visit our school, observe the classroom(s) at work, and speak with the staff.