Montessori education…what is it really?

Here are eight fundamental features of an authentic Montessori education:

  1. The Environment: The Montessori environment is carefully prepared to meet the developmental needs of each child. The materials are beautifully designed to attract a child’s attention. All materials used in the classroom are designed specifically for a Montessori school.
  2. Hands-on Learning: The Montessori classroom allows children the opportunity for hands on learning. Children move freely around the classroom and explore the materials they are curious about. Many of the materials are also “self-correcting”, meaning the child can see for himself whether he has mastered it or not. There is no need for the adult to interfere or correct. When a child successfully finishes a task without any help there is an innate sense of pride which helps boost his/her self- confidence.
  3. Teachers are guides: The role of a teacher in a Montessori classroom is that of a guide and a facilitator instead of a ‘sage on the stage’. In contrast to standing in front of the classroom giving the same lesson to all the children, the teacher is often seen moving around the classroom assisting each child along his/her own learning path.
  4. Individualized lessons: In a Montessori School we understand that each child develops at his/her own pace and they each have their own strengths and interests. Keeping this fact in mind, the teacher keenly observes each child and plans a lesson that is appropriate with that particular child’s sensitive periods of learning.
  5. Child-led learning: A Montessori education is a child centered pedagogy. This means that children from within the carefully prepared environment have the freedom (within limits) to choose the material that nurtures their inner curiosity. Children are born curious, and when they are given the opportunity to choose an activity that interests them the most, we help them gain inner confidence through their own success.
  6. Independence: The Montessori classroom is designed to promote independence. Self-correcting materials and lessons in care of the environment promote independence and teach children real-life skills that will serve them beyond academia.
  7. Mixed Ages: The focus of a Montessori education goes beyond just academic success. By grouping children in a three-year age span we encourage them to learn social, emotional and leadership skills through interaction with children who are both older and younger than them.
  8. For the Love of Learning: The goal of a Montessori education is to develop in each child the love of learning. We want them to choose a material because they are curious and want to learn more about it. When we instill in children the love of learning they are intrinsically motivated by their innate hunger of knowledge when they move on from Montessori.

To learn more about the Montessori Method and to observe a classroom please call us at 508-543-6391 to schedule a personal tour of King’s Wood Montessori School.


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