“A child’s work,” wrote Maria Montessori, “is to create the man he will become. An adult works to perfect his environment, but a child works to perfect himself.” So Dr. Montessori developed an education that would aid the child in his work.
The Montessori Method is based on the child’s tendencies to explore, be independent and make decisions, develop self-control, abstract ideas from experience, be creative and imaginative, repeat for internalization, concentrate, and perfect and master concepts and ideas.
Montessori classes are organized into groups representing a three-year age span. Within each group there is constant interaction, problem solving, child-to-child teaching, and socialization.
The environment is arranged according to subject area, and children are free to move around the room, and to work on a piece of material as long as needed. It is the role of the teacher to prepare and adapt the environment. The teacher links the child to the environment with well-planned lessons.
Children learn directly from the environment, other children, and from the teacher. The teacher works with children one-on-one, in small groups, and less frequently, in large group settings.
A Montessori classroom feels very different from traditional classrooms. Rather than placing a teacher at the center, here you’ll find students directing their own activities and learning from one another. The Montessori teacher relies on her observations of the children to determine which new materials she will introduce to an individual or small group of children.
From an early age, Montessori students develop the self-discipline to work alone, with peers, or with the entire class. While one student reads about Renaissance painters, another works at a computer and another dissects a flower with a friend. Aided by the rich curriculum and hands-on learning materials, the child develops excellent skills in reading, writing and mathematics.
As part of a mixed-age class the Montessori student enjoys relationships with younger and older children.Â Mixed-age classes promote collaborative learning and encourage the development of strong community.
The Montessori Method has been successful
around the world for more than 100 years.