What is Montessori? By: Grace Gotfryd - Midland Montessori Blog
 
What is Montessori?
                Maria Montessori was born in 1870. Her life would include many obstacles, insights, and triumphs. The focal point of our interest is her educational style and observations of children.

                Dr. Montessori devised what is the Montessori Method. Following are some key points of this method and some inspiring beliefs Dr. Montessori held.

                One aim of the Montessori classroom is to develop, in their own natural rhythm, children who are physically and mentally independent, self-confident and self-controlled, able to manage the requirements of daily life with grace, ease and effectiveness.

                In order to achieve the aim of this method, we hold true that all growth must come from a voluntary action of the child themself. To encourage this voluntary action, the child is free to choose in a non-competitive classroom, stimulated by other children, older and younger, guided individually by the teachers, and proceeding to each aspect of the program at their own pace. The children work together or alone, on mats on the floor or at tables, and may move around the room freely as long as they respect the activities of others and the materials in the classroom.

                The teacher is responsible to prepare the environment of the classroom, and then remain in the background – not the focus of the classroom as in standard educational environments. Montessori teachers guide each child in the use of materials, which are self-corrective, then leave the child to practice and perfect their understanding of the lesson themself.  The teacher is aware that each child is an individual, respecting their abilities and independent progress.

                The Montessori classroom is a child-sized environment with chairs, tables and shelves, all in appropriate size. It is a unique feature of the “prepared environment” that every object in the classroom has a specific place and purpose.

                Maria Montessori emphasized that the hand is the chief teacher of the child. The Montessori classroom is a boundless environment for hands-on activity for the child, thus implementing this belief and encouraging self-education, exploration and learning. Hands-on materials, used in this classroom for learning, are the major focus of Montessori education. The emphasis is on the process, not the product. The child may not be showing a piece of paper as proof of learning, but observation in the classroom of a child at work with Montessori materials is all the proof needed to understand that the child is indeed learning and developing countless valuable skills.

                                                                                                                                                By: Grace Gotfryd



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