The Montessori Method

Montessori Education

The Montessori approach begins with a great respect for the potential of each child and an environment specially prepared with this in mind. There is order, variety and choice in the prepared environment with activities ranging from simple to more complex. The cognitive or intellectual, physical, social, emotional and spiritual developmental needs of each child are recognized in preparing the environment, for children to experience the joy of learning.

Montessori teaches children to observe, to think and to judge

Practices of the Montessori Method (fall into three categories)

Exercises for Practical Life
To develop concentration, co-ordination, manual dexterity and independence. These exercises are high interest as they re often activities seen around the home. Pouring, mixing, preparing vegetables, dressing frames etc.

Exercises for Sensorial Training
Sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste; opportunities for classifying, categorizing and comparing.

Exercises for Didactic Training
Academic teaching in; language (phonics) and reading, maths, geography, culture, science, music and art.

Principles of Montessori Education

  • Education for a New World
  • Education from Birth for the whole of life
  • The Prepared Environment
  • The Absorbent Mind
  • Respect for the Child
  • Education of all the Senses

Aim of Montessori Education (to develop in each child)

  • Concentration
  • Persistence in completing a task
  • Co-ordination
  • Orderliness
  • Independence
  • Creative self-expression
  • Self-discipline

Emotional and Social Development

In a Montessori class there are mixed ages. Children learn to work alongside each other and respect each other's choice and work. With the teacher's guidance and supervision children learn to become self-motivated and are able to choose their own work and take responsibility for completing and putting it away so it is ready for the next person. The children learn therefore to be independent and to consider others.

Periods of Development*

Dr Montessori, after years of observing and taking physical and psychological records on thousands of children, outlined the periods of development between birth and maturity as:

Birth to 6 Years 0-3 Absorbent Mind - conscious
3-6 Absorbent Mind - conscious
6-12 Years 6-9 Intellectual Growth
9-12 Acquisition of Culture
12-18 Years 12-15 Period of change
15-18 Acquisition of independence

*Educational divisions should correspond to the natural stages in the child’s development.