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How is a Montessori pre-school different from other pre-schools?

In most pre-schools the children are taught educational concepts in a group by a teacher. In a Montessori pre-school, the children learn concepts spontaneously as they work independently with the many materials in the environment.

What is the Montessori method of education ?

The Montessori Method of education is basically a unique approach to learning. Rather that “teaching” the child concepts, an enriched environment is designed to stimulate the child’s interest and facilitate his understanding and learning capacities spontaneously with little or no adult intervention.

What is the purpose of the Montessori method ?

The main purpose of the Montessori Method is to develop an environment where the child can unfold spontaneously and manifest the greater within. According to Marie Montessori, “the child is the father of the man”. As the child begins to develop this inner self, his love of life and learning expands continuously.

Who started the Montessori method ?

Dr. Maria Montessori, over 80 years ago, was Italy’s first woman medical doctor. Using her scientific background, she began observing children in Rome. Based on her unbiased observation she developed unique materials, a child centered environment, and was one of the first person to revolutionize education thought by stressing respect for the child, freedom of expression, self education, and training through use of movement and the senses.

What is in a Montessori classroom ?

The Montessori classroom is a child sized world. Whatever is in the world outside can be incorporated meaningfully in the Montessori classroom. To a child, the world is unmanageable – it is too big, too complex, and too confusing. By careful selection of materials by the teacher, an environment is set up that allows the child a place to explore life on a level he or she can understand. This prepared environment entices the child to proceed at their own pace from simple activities to more complex ones. Through this process, the child’s natural curiosity is satisfied and he/she begins to experience the joy of discovering the world around them. Materials and curriculum center around Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, Geography, History, Science, Art, Music, Drama, and Dance.

How do children interact in the environment ?

As the children develop their sense of pride in their “work”, a feeling of confidence, well being, and joy begins to manifest itself in the child. A “new” child is born. A classroom of Montessori children is a joy to watch. There seems to be a spirit of respect, love, and cooperation among the children.

What is the role of the Montessori teacher ?

The Montessori teacher is sometimes called a Directress because she facilitates the classroom activity. She carefully plans the environment in the interest of children and she helps the children progress from one activity to the next. She is trained to deal with each child individually, allowing him to choose from many activities within his or her range of ability. She stands back while a child is working and allows the child the satisfaction of his/her own discovery.

With all the freedom, isn’t there confusion ?

The concept of freedom in the classroom is a freedom with limits. A child is allowed to work freely so long as they do not disturb others. Actually, the children allowed the freedom to follow their interests are generally happy and busily involved in their work.

How do Montessori children adjust to public schools ?

Children who have been in a Montessori environment are generally very flexible and adjust easy to the public school situation. They may be better students and spend their time in a more productive way because of their self directions and positive attitude toward learning.