The Montessori Method
“The primary goal of the Montessori program is to help each child reach full potential in all areas of life. Activities promote the development of social skills, emotional growth, and physical coordination as well as cognitive preparation.”
- Maria Montessori
The Montessori Method is based on the child’s developmental needs for freedom within limits and a carefully prepared environment. Montessori is designed to meet all curriculum areas such as Math, Science, Literacy, etc. This method guarantees exposure to materials and experiences to develop intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. It is designed to take full advantage of the self-motivation and unique ability of children to develop their own capabilities. Four primary elements of the Montessori Method include:
Auto Learning - Montessori believes children will develop self-learning skills based on their emotional and personal self. The children are able to learn in the proper environment as the teacher works as a guide.
The use of hands-on materials - Montessori’s materials are made to fit each child’s needs and reach each discipline of learning. Since materials are at the child’s reach for independence children are able to develop and grow as they explore the room. The hands-on materials also help develop concentration as children manipulate and create. Many of the materials can be manipulated from simple to more complex, challenging the children and making them want to learn as they prepare for future learning. As the child is able to recognize their own mistakes they will begin to transform concrete expressions into more abstract expressions.
Individualized education - Montessori respects the fact that everyone is different and therefore everyone learns differently. Children are not graded as they learn at their own pace. The motivation to learn comes from within and the child will receive their own self-reward of growth. The teacher works one-on-one with student’s providing them with new lessons as their skills are developing.
The teacher as a guide - Montessori teachers are known as the “directress” as we direct the child to the prepared environment. The Montessori training teaches each Directress to prepare each lesson with the corresponding materials while meeting each child’s individual needs. Within the framework and structure provided by the directress the child is free to direct their own learning. The teacher helps students focus on respecting ones-self and others as well as our materials.
The Montessori classroom is aesthetically pleasing as it is divided into many areas so the child can choose work independently at their own level. The classroom is set up so that it belongs to not only the directress but the students as well. Upon entering a Montessori classroom children are working on rugs on the floor, representing “their area,” or “their space.” There is a sense of order as every material has its own special place.