Children learn at their own pace and are not forced into activities that they don’t want to do; they learn by handling the “real” objects before them — whether it’s glasses, knives, sand or mobile phones. Toys are out and nurturing “fantasies”, such as role playing, is discouraged. The layout of a classroom is vital; with objects being set out depending upon the topic.
Montessori children are unusually adaptable. They have learned to work independently and in groups. Since they've been encouraged to make decisions at an early age, these children are problem solvers who can make choices and manage their time well. They have also been encouraged to exchange ideas and to discuss their work freely with others and good communication skills ease the way in new settings.
If you are looking for a so-called 'traditional' style of teacher-directed learning, then you will be disappointed. Montessori schools are almost always 'progressive' schools. Their classes are multi-age and teacher-guided. The teacher hovers on the sidelines observing, helping and guiding the learning process.
Montessori is not a franchise operation. Each Montessori school is individually owned and operated. Some schools are proprietary schools owned by an individual. Others are not for profit entities governed by a board of trustees. Most Montessori schools are small with less than 100 children.
Students enrolled in Montessori middle schools reported a significantly better quality of experience in academic work. Compared to their non-Montessori peers, the Montessori students felt more active, strong, excited, happy, relaxed, sociable, and proud. They enjoyed their studies more, had greater interest in their work, and they wanted academic work more than the traditional students.
Higher levels of self-confidence and greater participation in social interaction and for longer periods were found in Montessori students
Ages 12 to 18 - The child continues to construct the moral self. They begin to participate in society and to search for and establish their place in it. The teenager requires protection during this time of great changes and therefore, intellectual pursuits often take second seat to social development.
Ages 18 to 24 - The young adult is preparing themselves for his/her place on earth. They are sustaining and expanding their culture, developing leadership abilities with the goal of becoming responsible, contributing members of society.
Birth to age 6 - The child constructs themselves and absorbs their environment The child's personality is laid down.
Ages 6 to 12 - The child constructs his/her social self. The child begins to socialize with the world, to absorb their culture through interacting, observing and through the use of imagination, and begins to develop a sense of morality.
Montessori thought children are more likely to achieve their full potential if allowed to develop naturally and pursue their interests under the guidance of trained teachers; classes contain mixed-age groups and allow students to choose activities from a list of options.
Each child is valued as a unique individual. Montessori education recognizes that children learn in different ways, and accommodates all learning styles. Students are also free to learn at their own pace, each advancing through the curriculum as he is ready, guided by the teacher and an individualized learning plan.
Montessori education dates back to 1907, when Maria Montessori opened the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House, in a low-income district of Rome. Her unique philosophy sparked the interest of educators worldwide, and in the following decades Montessori schools opened throughout Europe, in North and South America, and, finally, on every continent but Antarctica.
We want our students—and the adults they become—to consume the unknown like a favorite meal; to be able to gather, question, evaluate, and act independently and with confidence. So, in each act of transmitting knowledge, we are also seeking to encourage traits of self-awareness, sociability, self-motivation, active curiosity, discipline, responsibility, and self-reliance. These are the assets our students will come to rely on as they face new situations, in school and throughout their lives.
The Montessori method has had its share of criticism. Some parents believe the classroom environment is "too free", while others question Montessori teaching priorities, or the fact that children are not normally assigned homework.
Five-year-old Montessori pupils were better prepared for reading and maths, and 12-year-olds wrote "significantly more creative" essays using more sophisticated sentence structures.