What is Montessori?
How Did it Begin?
She called it “Casa dei Bambini” (Children’s House) and based the program on her observations that young children learn best in a homelike setting, filled with developmentally appropriate materials that provide experiences contributing to the growth of self-motivated, independent learners.
Montessori’s dynamic theories included such innovative premises as:
Children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who are different from one another.
Children create themselves through purposeful activity.
The most important years for learning are from birth to age 6.
Children possess unusual sensitivity and cognitive abilities for absorbing and learning from their environment, which includes people, as well as materials.
She carried her message throughout the world, including the United States, as early as 1912. An enthusiastic first response in the U.S. resulted in a reintroduction of the approach in the mid-1950s, and was followed by the organization of the American Montessori Society in 1960.
What Makes Montessori Education Unique?
The Teacher. The Montessori teacher functions as a facilitator of learning. As such, he or she is a designer of the environment, resource person, guide, role model, demonstrator, and meticulous observer and recorder of each student’s behaviour and growth.The teacher acts as a facilitator of learning Extensive training – a minimum of a full year following the baccalaureate degree is required for a full AMS credential, including a year’s student teaching under supervision – is specialized for the age group with which a teacher will work, i.e., infant and toddler, 2 1/2- to 6-year-olds, elementary, or secondary level.
How Does It Work?
The Montessori Materials. Dr. Montessori’s observations of the kinds of activities that children enjoy and go back to repeated led her to design a number of multisensory, sequential, and self-correcting materials that facilitate the learning of skills and lead to learning of abstract ideas.
How Is Creativity Encouraged?
Music, art, storytelling, movement, and drama activities are integrated into American Montessori programs. But there are other things particular to the Montessori environment that encourage creative development: materials that stimulate interest and involvement; an emphasis on the sensory aspect of experience; and opportunities for both verbal and non-verbal modes of learning.
How Can a “Real” Montessori Classroom Be Identified?
They have also been encouraged to exchange ideas and to discuss their work freely with others. Good communication skills ease the way in new settings.
Research has shown that a good predictor of future success is a positive sense of self-esteem. Montessori programs, based on self-directed, non-competitive activities, help children develop good self-images and the confidence to face challenges and change with optimism.
AMS’s primary focus is ensuring the highest standards through accreditation of Montessori schools, the affiliations of teacher education programs, and the creation of professional development resources.
AMS also advances Montessori education by supporting related activities – including research and public policy – and by creating a global community of education professionals, families, and policy makers.
By these actions AMS ensures that the Montessori approach is a positive and growing force in education throughout the world.
Links to AMS Professional Development: