What is a Montessori Education?

Montessori is a comprehensive educational approach that was developed more than one hundred years ago by Dr. Maria Montessori. It is based upon her scientific observations of childhood learning processes and her conclusions that children are quite adept at teaching themselves. Guided by her findings, Dr. Montessori developed what she called the “prepared environment,” which possesses a certain order and allows children to develop at their own speed in an environment that is non-competitive, spontaneous, and relaxed.

Because of its emphasis on the use of all five senses, the structure of Montessori learning involves the use of many materials, with which children may work individually. At every step of their learning, the material is designed to test their understanding and to correct their errors. Children work at their own pace, thus, the faster learner is not held back by others, nor is the slower learner struggling to keep up. Learning becomes an exciting process of discovery in which the child develops better concentration, motivation and self-discipline and ultimately leads to an even greater love of learning.

Child-Directed Learning

If you’ve ever caught your child in an unselfconscious moment of intense concentration, then you’ve seen what the Montessori method strives to achieve every day. 

One-On-One Interaction with Teachers

In a Montessori classroom the teacher acts as facilitator, mentor and coach. Because the Montessori philosophy places an emphasis on meeting the child where they are developmentally, the Montessori teacher plays much closer attention to the individual needs of the student. Their job is not to judge but to understand. Click through to read more.

Emphasis on the Whole Child

The Montessori method appeals to the full spectrum of intelligences and learning styles—logical, linguistic, kinesthetic, artistic, spatial, etc.—and seeks to educate the whole child. Because the quality of the overall learning environment is paramount, students are taught to take responsibility for the culture of their class. 

It Works

In 2006, Angeline Stoll Lillard, author of the award-winning book Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius (Oxford University Press), published a study in the journal Science that found evidence to back up Dr. Maria Montessori’s methods. Click through to read more.  She has published many articles and news items that validate the Montessori method that can be found on her website.