The Montessori method is a system of education that is both a philosophy of child development and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on children’s developmental needs for freedom within limits, as well as, a carefully prepared environment, which guarantees exposure to materials and experiences. It is designed to take full advantage of children’s desire to learn and their unique abilities to develop their own capabilities.
The basic tenet of Montessori education is that a child learns best in an enriched, supportive environment through exploration, discovery and creativity with the guidance and encouragement of a trained and caring staff.
...children are encouraged to pursue
their interests, make responsible
choices for themselves and direct
themselves to constructive activities.
The goals of Montessori education are to cultivate each child's natural desire to learn, acquire and master skills, learn responsibility and cooperation and foster strong, positive feelings about oneself and others. The method addresses the total child developing social skills, emotional growth, physical coordination, and cognitive preparation, within a thoughtfully designed environment.
The classroom is prepared with a wealth of materials selected and designed to meet the needs of the individuals it serves. There is a range of materials both in variety and level of development to allow children to progress through the curriculum as their skills develop. Typical areas of a Montessori Pre-school/Kindergarten classroom include: Everyday Living, Math, Language, Art, Sensorial, Music, Geography, Science, Movement, Nature Study, Animal Care. At the Elementary level these basic areas are expanded to include Biology, Botany, Zoology, Physical Sciences, History, Junior Great Books and Foreign Language.
Some of the characteristics that distinguish a Montessori program are:
Mixed Age Groupings
Child Directed Program
Hands-on Approach To Learning
Whole Language Approach To Reading