What is the Montessori method?
The Montessori method is a philosophy of education which emphasizes the potential of the child and which develops this potential through an educational environment carefully designed to meet the child’s developmental needs and specially trained teachers.
The Montessori approach advocates respect for the child’s natural psychological, physical and social development. There is an emphasis on independence as well as freedom within limits. Montessori noted that children have a natural desire to learn and this is cultivated through self-chosen learning activities.
Children are taught in mixed age classrooms meaning that younger children have role models to follow and older children develop leadership skills. In the classroom, areas of learning are organised to form a child-centred educational environment which promotes concentration skills and uninterrupted learning periods.
Children learn through interaction with a wide variety of beautifully crafted educational materials. The materials allow for self-paced learning and provide a series of learning tasks designed to meet each child’s needs at each moment in their unique developmental path. There is only one of each kind of material which teaches patience and co-operation skills.
‘The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.’