AMS 2Montessori Education is a method of instruction developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1897. Dr. Montessori was the first female physician in Italy and dedicated her life to discovering how children learn. She took a scientific approach to educating children -she observed, created, tested and revised based on her observations. Today, over a century later, psychological research is showing Dr. Montessori was way ahead of her time.

Here are some articles about the Montessori Method and its relevance today:

“The Future of Education was Invented in 1906” – Forbes Magazine

“The Montessori Mafia” – The Wall Street Journal

“Montessori is an Example of a New Culture of Learning” -Forbes Magazine

 

What is the Montessori Method?

This system of education is a philosophy of child development and a rationale for guiding growth. It is based on two important needs of children:

1.    The need for freedom within specific limits. This helps children develop internal discipline.

2.    A carefully prepared classroom which guarantees exposure to materials and experiences.

Key Components of a Montessori Classroom

Monarch Montessori classrooms are meticulously designed and operated by skilled head teachers who received hands on training at an approved Montessori training center. The head teacher ensures their classroom is guided by the following:

Respect for the Child

In a Montessori classroom, teachers model respect for children when they support their ability to do things and learn for themselves and when children are recognized as unique, capable and valuable individuals. The teachers speak and act respectfully toward the children and expect them to behave that way within the classroom as well.

Multi-age Classroom

Montessori schools group children based on a range of ages. At Monarch the Infant Program is for children aged 6 weeks to 18 months old, the Toddler Program is from 18 month olds to 3 year olds and Primary is for 3 to 6 year olds. In our classrooms, the young children look up to and learn from older ones; while the older ones gain confidence as they become classroom leaders and mentors for their younger peers. Additionally, rather than being uprooted in months, it gives these young children the ability to stay with a teacher for more than a year to foster that nurturing, close relationship. Finally, it allows the teachers and children to move academically at the child’s own pace. The curriculum is not based on the child’s age; it is based on their own ability.

Freedom But Within Limits

The concept of freedom within the classroom is one of freedom within limits. Ground rules are established by the teachers and the children must abide by the rules. A child is allowed to work freely so long as s/he does not disturb others and is not misusing materials. Learning by doing, freedom to choose work that is interesting and engaging to that child based upon what they are ready for (they must be introduced to a material to work with it) promotes a happy and peaceful atmosphere in the classroom. Parents often remark how quiet it is in the school and that is typically because the children are busy with an interesting activity or “work”.

The Prepared Environment

Dr. Montessori created an environment scientifically designed to meet the needs of the child, rather than the teacher. Using specialized materials, creating a supportive social climate and placing the teacher in the role of supportive guide, children are enabled do things for themselves, fostering effective problem-solving skills, independence and self-confidence. Learning materials, space, and experiences are orderly, hands-on, child-centered and promote active, rather than passive learning.

“Autoeducation”

Through observing children, Dr. Montessori created materials and lessons not to only teach a concept, but to engage the senses in a meaningful sequence.This helps children systematically experience a part in relation to the whole, learn at their own pace and learn from mistakes. Children are immersed in the prepared environment and use hands-on materials which provide feedback through trial and error.  The goals in design are for materials to attract the child’s attention, provide a direct and indirect purpose, and to offer concrete, manipulative and self-correcting means through which to learn. 

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