What is a Montessori Shool?
A Montessori school is a unique educational experience that differs greatly from the traditional school setting. Based on the philosophy of Maria Montessori (1870-1952), the Montessori approach to education is centered on the "following the child", meaning allowing the child to progress at his or her own pace. The Montessori approach differs from traditional education in many ways. First, students are taught individually or in small groups as opposed to whole class instruction. Lessons within the class vary on skill level of the student. This allows the students to move as quickly or as slowly as they need to be successful. Second, students are taught with a variety of hands on materials, that are carefully prepared and set out on shelves for the students to learn from. Students make their own choices as to what materials they wish to choose and when they choose to use them during their work cycle based on previous lessons introduced by their instructional guide and daily work plans, which list their required activities to complete. Third, children are grouped in multi-age group classes. These age groups are 3-6 year olds, 6-9 year olds, and 9-12 year olds. Maria Montessori felt that their were certain characteristics of learning within the three year period of each age group, which she referred to as sensitive periods. A Montessori school is a peaceful, carefully prepared, environment in which critical thinking skills and independence are learned, and peace and respect are promoted and demonstrated by staff and students, which allows students to appreciate and respect the people and environment around them.
Montessori in the Public Setting
Public Montessori schools still follow state and district standards while incorporating the Montessori philosophy. Traditional materials, such as text books, are replaced with hands on, Montessori materials. To find out more about public Montessori education please sign up for our monthly parent education nights, or set up a conference with your child's teacher.