Children are encouraged to "learn how to learn," thus gaining independence and self-confidence. Since Montessori is based upon developmentally appropriate activities, the child is often educated through experience - a high impact process.
The Montessori Classroom allows a greater flexibility in meeting each child's individual needs. The environment “becomes the teacher”, with the child as the initiator of her/his own education. The Montessori method strives to achieve a sense of community within the classroom where children of different ages work together in an atmosphere of cooperation rather than competition.
The system also fosters a sense of respect for the environment and for individuals, which comes through experience of freedom within the community.
The Montessori method also incorporates the use of various apparatus, activities & environments designed to:
· enhance all aspects of the child’s development in a aesthetically pleasing manner geared to the child’s size, needs and interests, and
· provide exposure to materials and experiences, which aid the child in developing intellectual, physical and psychological abilities.
Montessori Programs develop Positive Self-esteem
The materials are self-correcting, allowing the child to discover his/her mistakes and independently correct them without feeling embarrassed or discouraged. This process develops a positive self-esteem enabling the child to succeed in every lesson he/she encounters.
Maria Montessori (1872-1952) was the first woman in Italy to earn a medical degree. Early in her career, while pursuing studies in anthropology and human development, she became fascinated with the learning potential of young children. After years of observation and research in the field, she formulated her theories of child development and designed specific didactic developmental aids for the children's use. These are commonly called the "Montessori Materials.” They assist children in absorbing fundamental concepts for language and mathematical development while allowing them to explore history, geography and elements of the culture in which they live.
The whole child approach - The primary goal of a Montessori program is to help each child reach their full potential in all areas of life. Activities promote the development of social skills, emotional growth, and physical coordination as well as cognitive preparation for future intellectual academic endeavors. The holistic curriculum, under the direction of a specifically prepared teacher, allows the child to experience the joy of learning, the time to enjoy the process, and ensures the development of self esteem. It provides the experiences from which children create their knowledge.The prepared environment - In order for self directed learning to take place, the whole learning environment - classroom, materials, and social setting / atmosphere - must be supportive of the child. The teacher provides the necessary resources, including opportunities for children to function in a safe and positive environment. Together, the teacher and child form a relationship based on trust and respect that fosters self confidence and a willingness to try new things. [top]
There are some distinct differences between Montessori and traditional preschool, daycare, junior kindergarten or kindergarten programs. The goal of both Montessori and traditional preschools is the same - to provide learning experiences for the child.
The biggest differences lie in the kind of learning experiences that Montessori provides, and the methods used to accomplish this goal. Montessori educators believe these are important differences since these school experiences help shape how a child learns, their work habits and their future attitudes toward themselves and the world around them. The differences are largely a matter of emphasis.
unobtrusive role in classroom
||teacher is center of classroom|
||group and individual instruction|
encourages children to teach and help each other
||most teaching done by teacher|
||curriculum structured for child|
discovers concepts from self-teaching
||child is guided to concepts by teacher|
|child sets own
||instruction pace usually set by group norm|
own errors from feedback materials
||errors usually pointed out by teacher|
reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal
feelings of success
||learning is reinforced by external repetition and rewards|