How can a real Montessori classroom be identified?
Since the term "Montessori" is in the public domain, many non-Montessori schools use it to capitalise on public interest in Montessori. But an authentic Montessori classroom must have the following basic characteristics at all levels: (a) A classroom atmosphere which encourages social interaction for cooperative learning, peer teaching and emotional development. (b) Teachers educated in the Montessori philosophy and methodology for the age level they are teaching. (c) Multi-aged students, and a diverse set of Montessori materials, activities and experiences which are designed to foster physical, intellectual, creative and social independence.
What does it do for the child?
Observers of the Montessori children have described them as having developed self-discipline, self-knowledge, and independence, as well as enthusiasm for learning, an organized approach to problem-solving, and academic skills. These children tend to be well-rounded individuals who understand their importance within their community and relate in positive ways to their natural surroundings.
What does the teacher do?
The Montessori teacher or directress as she is often called, gives individual and group lessons, providing guidance where needed. The teacher spends much of her time observing each child, preparing the environment according to their needs and protecting their self-development. The method of teaching is indirect in that it neither imposes upon the child as in direct teaching, nor abandons the child as in non-directive, permissive approaches. Rather, the teacher is constantly alert to the direction in which the child has indicated he wishes to go, and actively works to help the child achieve his goals.
Why is a Montessori classroom called an environment?
Everything in a Montessori classroom is geared to the child, creating a child-sized world. The furniture in the classroom is properly sized for the child. The materials are proportionate, fitting easily to the child's hand. They are also proportionate to his abilities, not overly simple, challenging but never presenting an impossible goal. The teacher carefully prepares this environment to give the child a safe place in which to explore, experiment, and learn. The tailored environment allows the child to proceed at his/her own pace from simple activities to more complex ones. The child's natural curiosity is satisfied as he/she continues to experience the joy of discovering the world around him/ her.
Are Montessori children successful later in life?
Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situations.
Can I do Montessori at home with my child?
Yes, you can use Montessori principles of child development at home. Look at your home through your child's eyes. Children need a sense of belonging, and they get it by participating fully in the routines of everyday life. "Help me do it by myself" is the life theme of the preschooler. Can you find ways for your child to participate in meal preparation, cleaning, gardening, caring for clothes, shoes, and toys? Providing opportunities for independence is the surest way to build your child's self-esteem.
Why are Montessori schools all work and no play?
Dr. Montessori realised that children’s play is their work—their effort to master their own bodies and environment—and out of respect she used the term “work” to describe all their classroom activities. Montessori students work hard, but they don’t experience it as drudgery; rather, it’s an expression of their natural curiosity and desire to learn.
How can children learn if they're free to do whatever they want?
Dr.Montessori observed that children are more motivated to learn when working on something of their own choosing. A Montessori student may choose his focus of learning on any given day, but his decision is limited by the materials and activities—in each area of the curriculum—that his teacher has prepared and presented to him.
How many students are typically in a Montessori class?
Montessori values a community of learners so our class sizes are typically somewhat larger. Montessori classes for children aged between 3 to 6 yrs can be 20–30 students. All members of the community benefit from this set-up. Older students are proud to act as role models; younger ones feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. Classes for infants & toddlers are smaller, with typically 7–15 children.
Is Montessori good for children with learning disabilities? What about gifted children?
Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. A classroom whose children have varying abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes. Moreover, multi-age grouping allows each child to find his or her own pace without feeling "ahead" or "behind" in relation to peers.
What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?
Montessori emphasises learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori classes place children in three-year age groups (0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and so on), forming communities in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones. Montessori represents an entirely different approach to education.