The Montessori method is a child-centered alternative educational method for children, based on theories of child development originated by Italian educator Maria Montessori (1870-1952) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is applied primarily in preschool and elementary school settings although some Montessori high schools exist.
The Montessori method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activity on the part of the child and clinical observation on the part of the teacher (often called a director, directress, or guide). It stresses the importance of adapting the child’s learning environment to his or her developmental level, and of the role of physical activity in absorbing abstract concepts and practical skills. It is also characterized by the use of autodidactic (self-correcting) equipment for introduction and learning of various concepts.
The Montessori method teaches reading via phonics and whole language, the comparative benefits of which are presently being recognized. While the Montessori name has achieved some attention, it is not a trademark and is associated with more than one organization. There are schools ‘influenced’ by Montessori which bear little resemblance to (and have received substantial criticism from) other institutions with closer lineage to Montessori’s work.
You Are In Good Hands
Montessori (pronounced MON-tuh-SORE-ee) is a comprehensive educational approach from birth to adulthood based on the observation of children’s needs in a variety of cultures all around the world. Beginning her work almost a century ago, Dr. Maria Montessori developed this educational approach based on her understanding of children’s natural learning tendencies as they unfold in “prepared environments” for multi-age groups (0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and 12-14). The Montessori environment contains specially designed, manipulative “materials for development” that invite children to engage in learning activities of their own individual choice. Under the guidance of a trained teacher, children in a Montessori classroom learn by making discoveries with the materials, cultivating concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.
We Are The Right Choice
A Montessori program is based on self-direction, non-competitive and cooperative activities that help a child develop a strong self-image, high levels of academic and social competence, and the confidence to face challenges with optimism. Encouraged to make decisions at an early age, Montessori educated children are problem-solvers who can make appropriate choices, manage their time, and work well with others. They exchange ideas and discuss work freely. These positive communication skills build the foundation for negotiating new settings.