What is Montessori?
Montessori Education Overview
The Montessori method is based on a philosophy and method of teaching set out over one hundred years ago by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first female physician to graduate from the University of Rome. This method emphasizes the potential of each child and develops this potential through the use of a carefully prepared classroom environment, rich in specially designed learning materials and directed by a trained adult. The Montessori method provides experiences that contribute to the child’s academic, mental, emotional, personal, and physical growth.
Montessori Key Concepts:
Montessori education is a developmental child-centered approach to education. While it shares many foundations with traditional education, there are some key differences.
School age and classroom age range:
The Montessori model begins school at age 3 for children. Children attend one classroom with mixed age groups for three-year cycles. The classrooms are supported by a trained Montessori teacher and a classroom assistant. The children receive individual lessons with specifically designed materials for their age and development.
The classrooms are categorized as:
Primary: Ages 3 to 6 (Prek3, Prek4, and Kindergarten)
Lower Elementary: Ages 6 to 9 (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grades)
Upper Elementary: Ages 9 to 12 (4th, 5th, and 6th Grades)
As a public school, state standards and testing are a part of our student's lives and an expectation. However, the majority of their academic journey will be through the use of Montessori materials that are designed to encourage independence in learning and self-management. The classrooms are carefully designed interactive spaces between students and teachers. Students receive lessons as individuals and in small-groups and when ready, are allowed the freedom of choice to daily practice, deepen knowledge and build new skill sets. Teachers, or Guides, are there to offer lessons, guide to deeper understanding, and facilitate learning connections.
Montessori Education is...
HANDS-ON: Specially designed manipulative materials that help children learn complex concepts with ease.
FOCUSED: A 3-hour work cycle without interruption allows children to develop concentration and mastery.
COLLABORATIVE: Multi-age classrooms offer opportunities for peer mentoring, collaborative work and social interaction.
DEVELOPMENTAL: Thoughtfully designed learning environments support children’s unique developmental needs at each stage from birth through young adulthood.
INDIVIDUALIZED: Guided by Montessori teachers who respect the child and individualize learning to maximize each child’s potential.
NATURAL: Montessori educators recognize that a child’s independent work springs from innate learning tendencies that all children possess.
PROVEN: With over 100 years of proven success, Montessori education is offered in 4,500 schools throughout the United States and 20,000 schools worldwide.
Children in a Montessori Classroom...
LEARN how to resolve conflicts peacefully
DEVELOP confidence in their abilities and are motivated to achieve new levels of knowledge
ESTABLISH sustained relationships with the teacher and peers in a stable learning community over a three-year period
ARE EMPOWERED to make choices and develop independence