What is the Montessori philosophy?
Montessori is an approach to education with the fundamental belief that a child learns best within a social environment which supports and respects each individual’s unique development. It uses the “whole child” approach to learning. Montessori theory is based on these concepts:
- Children are respected as individuals who are different from one another.
- Children create themselves through purposeful activity
- The most important learning occurs from birth to age six
- Children are sensitive and have the mental ability to absorb and learn from the environment, which includes people as well as materials
What does a Montessori classroom look like?
Children are free to work at their individual pace with materials they choose. They can work independently or with others. The teacher makes observations and decides when to introduce new concepts or tools. This concept is to develop self-directed learning in a community setting.
The multi-age classrooms provide a family type of atmosphere where the more experienced children share their talents while reinforcing what they have learned.
Authentic Montessori teachers must be credentialed in the philosophy and methodology. The teacher acts as the role model, demonstrator, record keeper, observer and designer for the environment.
The classroom atmosphere will encourage social interaction for cooperative learning, peer teaching and emotional development. Montessori was the first to create child-sized tables and chairs for an environment to fit for children.
It is necessary to give children the possibility of developing according to the laws of nature, so that they can become strong, and, having become strong, can do even more than dared hope for them.