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What Is Montessori?

The Montessori approach to education supports and encourages children's natural passion for learning and enthusiasm for examining the world around them. An engaging, age-appropriate learning environment is created in which they are encouraged to explore and discover based on their developmental needs and interests.

As children work in the classroom they are also invited to teacher directed "lessons" with material and concepts suited to their individual progress.

The classroom materials stimulate children to think for themselves, which encourages originality and creativity and fosters a love of learning.

Many people have heard that Montessori children are often "ahead" of other children their age in many areas. When this is true it is a natural result of the way Montessori philosophy, materials and teachers support and encourage children's inherent joy of learning and discovery. Montessori principles support the academic, social and emotional competence and independence of the child. Children who are "ahead" is not a Montessori goal. Children who are engaged in their own learning is a goal.

When you walk into a Montessori classroom, whether a toddler, preschool or elementary room you will notice it looks different. Often the teacher will be off to the side or working with just a few children. The adult, in Montessori, is not the center of attention, directing all the activities. Rather each child is pursuing his/her own interests from the carefully pre-selected materials available. It is not rigid and it's not a free-for-all. The children are busy, engaged and developing the kind of inner confidence and self-discipline that aids them for life. The teacher is a keen observer of each child and offers lessons and guidance when needed. The children in a Montessori classroom seem to love what they are doing, they are lively and self-possessed and display a sense of concern and sharing with their classmates. We often have parents tell us they wish they could have attended a Montessori school!

What Montessori does different compared to a traditional school?

Some more insights...

What We Can All Learn from a Montessori Classroom
by Jennifer Gonzalez
The author is a respected educational blogger and has tons of amazing and applicable ideas for all realms of schooling.

Preview to "Montessori: A Modern Approach"
by Paula Polk Lillard

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