What is Montessori?
A Montessori class is a child-centered mixed-age learning environment. The teacher presents lessons on special hands-on material and the children repeat the activities, independently and/or in small groups, increasing their understanding, skill, concentration, self-discipline, and a love for learning.
Montessori education exists from birth through high school.
The Montessori philosophy and educational method were created by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, anthropologist and humanitarian, in the beginning of the last century.
Main premises of Montessori Education are:
In Montessori, we use the term ‘work’ to describe your child’s purposeful activities out of respect for your child. By purposeful exploring, creating and playing, your child is doing the important ‘work’ of developing and refining skills and understandings as well as working through emotions.
Each day, some time is spent as a group to share experiences, read books, sing songs, do movement activities and target specific language lessons. During the Montessori work period, younger children are usually taught in individual lessons and older children receive more lessons in small groups. Children work at their own pace; materials are presented to challenge the child.
Other approaches may be used if consistent with our school’s philosophy.
We do not use formal testing or letter or number grades. The guide observes the step-by-step mastery of the materials and lessons presented. Progress is reported to parents through verbal and written comment at conferences.
Education should no longer be mostly imparting knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentials.”
~ Maria Montessori
Here are a couple of videos that explain what Montessori is:
Traditional Education vs. Montessori
A Montessori Morning
In the primary classroom, children range in age from about 2.5 to 6. Multi-age works beautifully in a Montessori classroom! Older children are role models and help younger ones and younger children strive to be kind and responsible as their older peers. The Montessori classroom is a place where children develop their social skills, academic ability, intelligence, and love for work and life.
The elementary classroom has children from 6 to 12 years old and children move between classrooms to work with the materials that most suits their personal development.