Questions About Montessori

What is Montessori?

Montessori education sees the child as a unique human being in the process of self-formation, one who often has quite accurate instincts about what it is that he or she needs to do next in order to grow and to learn.

Montessori is a holistic scientific educational system fulfilling this need.

Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as “an aid to life”. The children are guided by Montessori teachers who are specifically trained to observe and put the child in touch with exactly what he or she needs at that very moment to learn. The Montessori education cultivates concentration, motivation, self-discipline, a love of learning and innate creativity. Academics and knowledge-building are key qualities of Montessori, as is the ability to think creatively and understand the needs of others. When these fundamental skills are fostered early in life, children gain the capability to problem solve, persevere, and interact well with others in any circumstance.

If the children have freedom to choose their work, how the school ensures that the child's education meets the state standards?

Children in Montessori environments are free to choose within limits, and have only as much freedom as they can handle with appropriate responsibility. The teacher creates daily and weekly lesson plans and observes the work in every lesson for each child. The teacher connects the child with the curriculum and then tracks their progress to ensure that every child masters their appropriate level and element of the curriculum. Beyond there are three important tools – the student has an awareness about the educational requirements and expectations as a minimum, records his work in a student journal on a daily basis and has a weekly individual meeting with his teacher.

What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?

For children six and under, Montessori emphasises learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classrooms learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. They are not required to sit and listen to a teacher talk to them as a group, but are engaged in individual or group activities of their own, with materials that have been introduced to them 1:1 by the teacher who knows what each child is ready to do. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Above age six, children learn to do independent research; arrange field trips to gather information; interview specialists; create group presentation, dramas, art exhibits, musical productions, science projects, and so forth. There is no limit to what they can create in this environment of intelligently guided freedom of choice. There is great respect for the choices of the children, but they easily keep up with or surpass what they would be doing in a more traditional setting. There is no wasted time and children enjoy their work and study. After the teacher connects them with a lesson, much of the learning that follows comes from sharing and inspiring each other instead of competing with each other.