What is Montessori?

According to Dictionary.com
Noun: A system of education for young children that seeks to develop natural interests and activities rather than use formal teaching methods.

Follow the child. Work plans. Child centered learning. Teachers as guides. Concentration, coordination, organization and independence.  Jobs. Materials.  Rugs. Research.

How many different words/phrases could you think of that apply to Montessori school?

Montessori was a woman way ahead of her time! 100 years ago she was one of the first Women to graduate with a medical degree, avoiding the stereotypical role of "teacher" that most women took on at that time. Through her medicine she found observation of children and teaching them how to learn which lead her to the develompment of the method that holds her name.

When working with special needs children she made great progress and decided to take an opportunity to work in a "children's house" where a large group of poor and wild children were cared for during the day while their parents worked. Applying the materials she had used with the special needs children and creating some of her own she realized that children crave independance and have a desire to learn, if given the correct environment. A child wants to learn how to learn!

Encouraged to focus her attention on one particular quality, the child works at her own optimum level – in an environment where beauty and orderliness are emphasized and appreciated. A spontaneous love of "work" is revealed as the child is given the freedom (within boundaries) to make her own choices.

Montessori teachers are trained facilitators in the classroom, always ready to assist and direct. Their purpose is to stimulate the child's enthusiasm for learning and to guide it, without interfering with the child's natural desire to teach himself and become independent. Each child works through his individual cycle of activities, and learns to truly understand according to his own unique needs and capabilities.

What is Montessori?