Montessori Principles of Education

CURRICULUM REVOLVES AROUND A FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF THAT EACH CHILD HAS AN INSTINCTIVE AND SPONTANEOUS DESIRE TO LEARN

The Montessori method of education began in 1906 by Dr. Maria Montessori and was based upon her scientific observations of a group of 60 young children of working parents in Rome. In response to Dr. Montessori’s repeated observations of the children’s almost effortless ability to absorb knowledge from their surroundings, as well as their tireless interest in manipulating materials, she developed educational equipment, exercises and methods to encourage how the children learn “naturally.”

In a Montessori environment, through collaboration with observant teachers who assist with goal-setting and assure steady achievement, children move themselves towards learning.

The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an aid to life. Montessori education is designed to help children’s educational development as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child.



Montessori in the Classroom

  • The inherent flexibility allows the method to adapt to the needs of the individual, regardless of the level of ability, learning style, or social maturity.
  • Montessori classrooms provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural drive to work and learn. The children’s inherent love of learning is encouraged by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous, meaningful activities under the guidance of a trained Montessori teacher.
  • Through their work, the children develop concentration, motivation, persistence, and discipline. Within this framework of order, the children progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities.

Recommended Introductory Reading

Lillard, Angeline Stoll. Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005. An in-depth treatment of current scientific research regarding how children learn best.

Lillard, Paula P. Montessori Today. New York: Random House. 1996. Outlines the Montessori philosophy from birth to adulthood then focused on Montessori elementary education, spanning the child’s years from 6-12.

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