FAQ

1. Who started the Montessori Method?
Dr. Maria Montessori, over 70 years ago, was Italy’s first woman medical doctor. Using her scientific background, she began observing children in the children’s houses of Rome. Based on unbiased observations she developed unique materials, a child-centered environment, and was one of the first persons to revolutionize educational thought by stressing respect for the child, freedom of expression, self-education, and training through use of movement and senses.

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

3. What is the purpose of the Montessori Method?
The main purpose of the Montessori Method is to develop and environment where the child can unfold spontaneously and manifest the greater person inside. According to Dr. Maria Montessori, “The child is the father of man”. As the child begins to develop this inner self, his love of life and learning expands continuously.

4. Who is the Montessori Method designed for?
The Montessori Method is an “approach to learning” and as such has no distinction of class or intelligence. It has been used successfully in all parts of the world and in all types of programs geared to children with varying education needs.

5. 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 to explore life on a level he can understand. The materials or exercises are designed to stimulate independent exploration. This prepared environment entices the child to proceed at his own pace from simple activities to more complex ones. Through this process, the child’s natural curiosity is satisfied and he begins to experience the joy of discovering the world about him.

6. What is the role of the Montessori teacher?
The Montessori teacher facilitates the classroom activity. She carefully plans the environment in the interests of the children and she helps the children progress from on activity to the next. She is trained to deal with each child individually allowing him to choose from many activities within his range of ability. She stands back while a child is working and allows him the satisfaction of his own discovery.

7. With all the freedom, isn’t there confusion?
The concept of freedom within the classroom is one of freedom within limits. A child is allowed to work freely so long as he does not disturb others. Actually, the children having the freedom to follow their interests are generally happy and busily involved with their work.

8. 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.

9. What about socialization and group work?
Socialization is very much a part of the Montessori Method. In the classroom, you will notice children interacting continuously, choosing work and projects together and older children helping younger ones. Each day there is some group activity and play outside.

10. How do Montessori children adjust to public school?
Children who have been in a Montessori environment are generally very flexible and adjust quite easily to the public school situation. They are generally better students and spend their time in more productive ways because of their self-direction and positive attitude towards learning.

11. Does Montessori employ current research and theory in education methods?
Montessori is not a static or closed system of education. While there are certain materials and methods that have been proved effective during the years, Montessori is as much an attitude about education and children as it is a specific method.

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