The Montessori Method of Education focuses on each child’s individuality and the uniqueness of their learning experience. Learning opportunities present themselves in a prepared environment in which children are encouraged to explore and observe, to learn at their individual pace, develop critical thinking skills and to care for themselves, others and their community as independently as possible through “meaningful work.”
The environment must be beautiful, clean and uncluttered. All furniture must be child sized and made of natural fiber. Materials must be organized and in perfect condition in order to gain the child’s interest and garner their respect. Works of art (adult and child) are hung at the child’s eye level. No attention to detail to should be overlooked.
Montessori children aren’t “taught” anything but are allowed to discover “everything”. Montessori allows children to be active participants in their own learning. We know that movement and learning go hand in hand. Education for "real life" through real life experiences inside our environments.
The role of the adult in a Montessori environment is to model appropriate behavior, respect
the child’s natural sense of wonder and create opportunities and experiences for the child
to explore their interests in a structured, meaningful way.
Montessori derives its mixed age groups from the planes of development so that similarly minded
children are allowed the opportunity to learn from one another based on natural tendencies with that developmental grouping, and not age. The youngest children look up to the older children and the older children learn how to be leaders, in some cases guiding their younger counter parts.
Weaved through each area of the classroom are common threads of interest so that children can
begin to understand the interconnectedness of their world; the commonalities of science, math
and music with the rich culture of language, literacy and geography.
Montessori materials are brilliant, instructive materials with a built-in self-correcting element which allows children to “figure it out themselves” without adult intervention. It is joy to our ears to hear “I did it myself” proudly proclaimed in our environments. Many materials are multi-layered and create extensions to the child’s learning, naturally.
From the American Montessori Society
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