“Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.”
- Maria Montessori
Montessori is a method of education started by Italian physician Maria Montessori in the early 1900s. Today, Montessori schools are found throughout the world and may go through high-school level. Still, Montessori preschools are more common than Montessori schools for the upper levels. Montessori principles can easily be used at home as well as in schools.
But, to only define Montessori as a method of education doesn’t do it justice. The Montessori Method was developed through observation of the child, with the individualized needs of each child as a primary focus.
Montessori education is devoted to helping each child achieve his or her potential and develop a lifelong love of learning. An attractive and orderly prepared environment, unique learning materials, and special way of viewing and teaching the child are essential parts of Montessori education.
The teacher in a Montessori class acts as a source of guidance and gentle direction. Whether the child is ready to learn how to tie shoes, how to differentiate shades of color, how to read, or how to understand the decimal system, the child determines the major educational direction. While the children develop inner direction and discipline, the teacher provides freedom within limits.
Although acceleration of learning may occur with Montessori education, it’s a by-product rather than the goal. The goal is to provide carefully prepared conditions which foster love of learning, independence, self-discipline, and a joyous response to life. The manner in which subjects are taught is one which simply meets the child’s need for knowledge and self-development.
As Maria Montessori said:
” . . . the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be.”
If you’d like to know more about Montessori philosophy and techniques and how to get started using Montessori at home, here are some posts you might find helpful:M is for Montessori How Can Montessori Fit into Your Family? How to Start Using Montessori at Home Top 10 Montessori Principles for Natural Learning Your Young Child’s Amazing, Absorbent Mind Encourage Your Child’s Sensitive Periods How to Help Your Preschooler Help Himself Why is Analysis of Movement Important in Montessori Education? How to Teach Your Preschooler Manners Using Montessori Principles How to Teach Concepts and Vocabulary to Your Preschooler Using the Three-Period Lesson In What Order Should You Introduce Letters to Your Preschooler? How to Set Up a Montessori Preschool Classroom at Home Montessori Resources