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About Montessori Education

maria montessori

Where did Montessori come from?

Montessori (pronounced MON-tuh-SORE-ee) education was founded in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician.  She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children’s learning processes.  Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Montessori designed a prepared environment in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities.  Now, more than a century after Maria Montessori’s first Casa Dei Bambini (Children’s House) in Rome, Montessori education is found all over the world, spanning from birth to adolescence.

Are Montessori children successful later on in life?

Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for life academically, socially, and emotionally.  In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on criteria such as following directions, effective time management, attentive listening skills, showing responsibility, and hunger for knowledge.  The most important thing we wish to ingrain in our children is a love of learning.  This provides a limitless potential for all of our students.

What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?

Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses.  Children in Montessori classes learn at their own individual pace and are to follow their interests.  Teachers, known as Directresses guide the children by observing their interests and finding things in the area of Language, Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, and Culture to continually stimulate them.  Once they are presented with material, they practice until they have mastered it.  They are now able to go on to something slightly more challenging yet doable to maintain their confidence.  Each material has a purpose and leads to an exciting process of discovery, developing concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.  Montessori classes place children in three-year age groups (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and so on) forming communities in which older children become mentors and the younger children get the opportunity to learn from the older children.  Montessori represents an entirely different approach to education.

 

bsaf2-SMWhat happens when my child leaves Montessori?

Changing from one environment to another takes self-confidence and patience.  Different children respond differently to change.  Most children adjust well to the transfer from Montessori to other private or public schools when their self-esteem is high.  Statistically, those who are in Montessori classrooms longest tend to make the adjustment more smoothly.  They usually enter their new environments with a positive, flexible confidence following their experience with, and nurturing of, a real love of learning.  Many children move on to join gifted programs and academically excel for their age.  Often, they will seek ways to stimulate their desire to learn on their own.  Attempt to be consistent from what is going on in the classroom and actively engage in making a similar environment at home for their transition to be smooth.