Hoboken Montessori School
  what is the montessori method

The Montessori method is both a philosophy of child development and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on the child’s developmental needs for freedom within limits, as well as, a carefully prepared environment, which guarantees exposure to materials and experiences. Through this, the child develops intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. It is designed to take full advantage of the child’s desire to learn and their unique ability to develop their own capabilities. The child needs adults to expose him to the possibilities of his life, but the child must determine his response to those possibilities.


THE MAIN PREMESIS OF MONTESSORI EDUCATION ARE:

  • Children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who differ from each other who learn at their own rate.
  • The child possesses an unusual sensitivity and intellectual ability to absorb and learn from his environment that is unlike those of the adult both in quality and capacity.
  • The most important years of a child’s growth are the first six years of life when unconscious learning is gradually brought to the conscious level.
  • Children need the opportunity to build positive attitudes toward themselves—and toward learning—during these early years.
  • Montessori Children develop concentration, perseverance, a sense of order, initiative and a pride in learning. As a result, they become confident, competent learners for life.
  • Children flourish in a joyful atmosphere, which balances intellectual stimulation, creativity and love.


 
The child has a deep love and need for purposeful work. He works, however, not as an adult for completion of a job, but for the sake of the activity itself. It is this activity, which enables him to accomplish his most important goal: the development of himself, his mental, physical, and psychological powers.

THE “PREPARED ENVIRONMENT”

The “prepared environment” is Maria Montessori’s concept that the environment can be designed to facilitate maximum independent learning and exploration by the child.

In the prepared environment, there is a variety of activity as well as a great deal of movement. In a preschool classroom, for example, a three-year-old may be washing clothes by hand while a four-year-old nearby is composing words and phrases with letters know as the movable alphabet, and a five-year-old is performing multiplication using a specially designed set of beads. Sometimes an entire class may be involved in a group activity, such as storytelling, singing, or movement.

In the calm, ordered space of the Montessori prepared environment, children work on activities of their own choice at their pace. They experience a blend of freedom and self-discipline in a place especially designed to meet their developmental needs.

THE MONTESSORI MATERIALS
In the Montessori classroom, learning materials are arranged invitingly on low, open shelves. Children may choose whatever materials they would like to use and may work for as long as the material holds their interest. When they are finished with each material, they return it to the shelf from which it came.

The materials themselves invite activity. There are bright arrays of solid geometric forms, knobbed puzzle maps, colored beads, and various specialized rods and blocks.

Each material in a Montessori classroom isolates one quality. In this way, the concept that the child is to discover is isolated. For example, the material known as the pink tower is made up of ten pink cubes of varying sizes. The preschool aged child constructs a tower with the largest cube on the bottom and the smallest on the top. This material isolates the concept of size. The cubes are all the same color and texture; the only difference is their size. Other materials isolate different concepts: color tablets for color, geometry materials for form and so on.

Moreover, the materials are self-correcting. When a piece does not fit or is left over, the child easily perceives the error. There is no need for adult “correction.” The child is able to solve problems independently, building self-confidence, analytical thinking, and the satisfaction that comes from accomplishment.

As the child’s exploration continues, the materials interrelate and build upon each other. For example, various relationships can be explored between the pink tower and the broad stair, which are based on matching precise dimensions. Later, in the elementary years, new aspects of some of the materials unfold. When studying volume, for instance, the child may return to the pink tower and discover that its cubes progress incrementally from one cubic centimeter to one cubic decimeter.

Content courtesy of the North American Montessori Teachers' Association.
'NAMTA. All rights reserved.'
For more information, please visit http://www.montessori-namta.org/introduction-to-montessori-education.html

 

american montessori society

“Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future.” - Dr. Maria Montessori