The Montessori Method
Philosophical and Developmental Foundation
One of the foundations of the Montessori educational approach is that children learn most effectively when their experience leads them to make discoveries about their environment. This highly-structured, real-world approach allows teachers to customize the pace, progression, and exposure to lessons, allowing each child to work at their optimal level. The nature and stages of children during each developmental “plane” are used as a means to delve deeply into highly-integrated, open-ended, independent learning.
Key elements in an authentic Montessori classroom include:
- A range of ages within each classroom;
- Self-directed learning from a prescribed range of lessons and materials;
- Uninterrupted daily work cycles;
- A full set of authorized Montessori materials, developed by Maria Montessori and her collaborators;
- Freedom of movement within the classroom
- A “discovery” model of learning, where students learn from working directly with materials at their own pace
Montessori materials are designed to guide the child to understanding with built-in self-assessment tools. These extraordinary materials, coupled with the guidance and observation of expertly trained teachers, carefully guide children toward the acquisition of skills related to language, mathematics, science, geography, music, and art. These materials are designed to “call to the children,” inviting them to explore and learn. Everything in the classroom is useful, interesting, and beautiful.