“Education should no longer be mostly imparting knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentials." ~Maria Montessori
Developed in 1907 by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori, the Montessori method of education has been embraced at public and private schools around the world for over a century.
Maria Montessori believed, “There is in the soul of the child an impenetrable secret that is gradually revealed as it develops.”
The Montessori Method of education emphasizes the following:
The inner guidance of the child’s nature
Freedom for self-directed learning
Distinct planes of development throughout childhood
A carefully prepared learning environment
The value of teacher observation and indirect teaching
Normalization — a natural psychological shift in children
The absorbent minds of young children
The value of “work”
The benefits of multi-age grouping
The Montessori Method involves the use of specially-developed educational materials that foster the development of the child’s own natural inner guidance, and encourage the child in self-directed activities. There are Montessori materials designed to promote practical life skills and sensorial development, as well as learning in more traditional areas such as mathematics, science, language, reading, and cultural studies.
In a Montessori classroom, “work” consists of spontaneous experiences within the carefully prepared environment. A child may select an activity, or a “work,” according to his or her natural impulse. Similarly, Montessori lessons are experimental interactions with children designed to support their true and natural development. Lessons are tailored to suit both the interests and academic readiness of each child. Children receive ample individualized attention from their teachers.
According to a 2006 study published in the journal “Science,” Montessori students aged 5 and 12 performed better than control students of the same ages who attended conventional schools. This improved performance was noted in a multitude of areas, including traditional academic areas such as language and math, as well as in the students’ demonstrated social skills.
To learn more about Maria Montessori and her method, visit the following webpages: