MONTESSORI AT A GLANCE
▪ Each child is taught individually and in small groups within a structured environment.
▪ Children have the unique opportunity to fulfill their potential.
▪ Children work at their own pace and at their own level of interest and ability.
▪ Multi-age, multi-grade classrooms encourage peer group learning.
▪ Core beliefs include re- spect for oneself, each other, and the environment.
The Montessori teacher observes and guides each child on a daily basis and determines when each is ready to move on to the next level. The teacher then introduces new concepts and encourages the child to practice and make further discoveries on his or her own. Children are born with the desire to learn.
With guidance, each child is continually challenged and encouraged to learn.
THE MONTESSORI CURRICULUM
The materials in the Montessori classrooms are organized into five curriculum areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math and Cultural.
Activities are carefully sequenced from simple to more complex tasks. This allows children to organize their thoughts and problem-solve in a logical way as they absorb this knowledge through their senses.
Dr. Maria Montessori believed that no human being is educated by another person. Children must do it themselves, or it will never be done. A truly educated individual continues learning long after the years spent in the classroom because he or she is motivated by a natural curiosity and love for knowledge.
Dr. Montessori felt the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the children with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate their own natural desire to learn.
In the Montessori classroom, this objective is approached in two ways:
▪ Allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by his or her own choice rather than by being forced;
▪ Helping the child to perfect all his or her natural tools for learning so this ability will be at a maximum in future situations.
The Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment, which is orderly, precise, and beautiful. Classrooms are designed for purposeful movement, inviting learning without being over-stimulating. At times, the room is respectfully quiet as children eagerly concentrate.
Peer group learning is intrinsic to Montessori—each class provides a family-like grouping where learning takes place naturally. More experienced children reinforce their own learning when they share what they have learned with children who have less experience. Younger children regard older children to be role models and guides.