What is it?
The Montessori Method is an educational philosophy based on the principle of self-guided learning. The philosophy focuses on four key developmental milestones: absorbent mind, reasoning mind, social consciousness, and transition to adulthood. By providing children with a variety of activities or ‘work’, this method encourages natural curiosity, which in turn builds self-esteem and inspires collaboration with others.
A thoughtfully designed Montessori environment creates a welcoming and secure space for children to learn and master their work. Classrooms are typically built around the children’s specific needs, with work projects strategically positioned to be easily accessible. In this way, children are continually engaging their ability to make independent choices that correspond to their own stage of development. Promoting this spirit of independence and freedom of choice encourages creativity and a strong sense of purpose within themselves. Children choose their work for the joy of the experience rather than focusing on the end results. This system of repeating and perfecting various work activities refines a child’s intellectual and behavioral abilities while also emboldening their self-confidence.
Montessori classrooms are traditionally filled with multi-aged students, inspiring younger children to advance by observing the actions and behaviors of their older peers. Students are encouraged to work side by side, often on a special floor mat, which breaks down the barriers of traditional learning spaces. Since children are inspired to make independent choices for their work, they are naturally inclined to interact cooperatively with their peers to achieve success. This process creates an environment of respect and builds a strong classroom community that transcends into family life and the world outside of school. It’s natural for each child to develop at a differing pace, and the welcoming environment created by the Montessori Method fosters this sense of independent growth.
The nurturing boundaries and structure provided by the Montessori Method gives children a greater focus while catering to their innate need for order. The benefits to children beginning their educational journey within a Montessori environment are numerous and instrumental to developmental success outside of the classroom.