“We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.” – Maria Montessori
What is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori Method is a holistic method of education developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900s. It’s goal is to develop natural interest and personal growth via autonomous activities instead of formal instruction. It is based on Montessori’s scientific observations of child growth from early age to adulthood. The method is a time-tested success, and there are currently thousands of Montessori schools worldwide.
How the Montessori Method Began
In 1907 Montessori opened the first Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House) in Rome. In this environment, children were introduced to activities and then allowed to choose to participate or not. Montessori learned from the children which activities were appropriate. Gradually Montessori accumulated a series of materials that are stilled used in Montessori schools around the world. As well as the materials, her observations led her to theories on how children learn best. Many of her “discoveries” are well-accepted in early childhood education today.
The Montessori Method is Child Centered
Dr. Montessori realized that children have a deep need for autonomy alongside a natural curiosity. Her method accounts for both of these qualities. This method grants the child as much self-direction as they are capable of handling. The Montessori Method also encourages personal responsibility while allowing the child to choose learning materials that suit their phase of development. This includes math games, reading activities, and even practical skills like washing a dish or zipping a coat. This is achieved by carefully observing each child’s needs, and applying only enough direction that is needed for continued learning. Learn more about the learning materials and daily life in The Montessori Experience and Our Curriculum.