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What IS Montessori? Here are Ten Things that Montessori “IS”

Categories: The Montessori Difference

What is Montessori?

Our parents often tell us that they are asked, “What is Montessori?” It’s more than just the last name of the first female physician in Italy. It’s an educational philosophy that allows your child to flourish.

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1. Child-centered. We focus on the child and customize lessons according to a child’s developmental stage. We also base our expectations on the individual child’s abilities. Children learn best in a social environment that supports and respects each child’s unique development. Our classrooms are comfortable settings filled with developmentally appropriate materials and opportunities that contribute to the growth of self-motivated, independent learners.

2. Materials-based. Children are free to choose materials that appeal to them. We know students learn effortlessly if they are engaged and interested, and Montessori teachers tailor lessons to capitalize on each student’s ability and demonstrated interest. The beautiful, hands-on materials are designed to help children develop concentration, introducing concepts in concrete terms. After working with the concrete, children are then able to learn abstractly learning and reason when developmentally appropriate. Dr. Montessori deliberately designed her materials so that children can spot their own errors, self-check, and complete tasks on their own, gaining self-sufficiency and independence. We view errors as part of the learning process rather than a shameful experience. Mistakes are an important part of learning. Teachers are not afraid to highlight their own mistakes in the classroom for students to see.

3. Social. Children are in mixed-age groups according to their developmental sensitivities. They’re interacting with other children all day long, learning and growing. Older students have the opportunity to help teach and guide younger students, which is part of their own learning. We are social beings and want to teach others what we know.

4. From a long tradition. Dr. Montessori developed her method of helping children to reach their unique and fullest potential more than 100 years ago.

5. Whole-child focused. Montessori education doesn’t concentrate on only the academic or intellectual part of the child. Montessori is about the physical, emotional, social and intellectual parts of a person. “Academics is not the focus of the Montessori classroom, it is just one of the many results and benefits.” Just like you, we want your child to achieve academic success. And just like you we want them to reach this success as quickly as possible, especially because everything we’re reading tells us that children in the U.S. are behind other countries. We share your desire for your child to be everything he or she is supposed to be, which is why we are so confident that Montessori is the best.

6. Community. Children learn how to live in community and to grow. Even when a child is less flexible, we are a community where people care about each other and continue to give each other a chance. Kids here notice growth in their friends. We see people develop as human beings.

7. Limitless. Children are encouraged to reach their full potential in all areas life. If they excel in a certain area, there is no ceiling. Each child works independently, with multi-sensory materials without having to keep pace with any other child. Our goal has always been to let children succeed at their own pace, in their own time, and not to lose heart. We do not make them experts in one subject or another, but aim to intrigue them to investigate – to learn.

8. Personalized. Montessori teachers do not dominate the classroom but are there to guide, encourage and give students personal, meaningful feedback. Many adults experienced education as something that was done to us – the teacher stood at the front of the room and fed us information you needed to know – to ace a test, make a grade, or just complete a standard. Montessori education doesn’t work that way.

9. Flexible. Montessori students work alone in a quiet classroom, work out in the field with peers and everything in-between. This variety encourages social and academic growth, fostering negotiation and leadership skills and requiring students to be flexible thinkers.

10. Mobile. Our students move about the classroom at-will. They can use the restroom or get a drink when they need it. They can talk to a friend about an exciting new idea, or maybe even.

make a sarcophagus after reading about Egypt. Dr. Montessori believed that movement and learning were rooted together, a concept backed up by current brain research on what is called “embodied cognition.”

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