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What is Montessori?

What is Montessori?

More than a classroom, Montessori is a method of education premised on a deep respect for each individual child’s ability to develop themselves into capable, peaceful individuals.

Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori at the turn of the 20th century, a Montessori classroom looks like no other classroom you’ve ever seen. There are low shelves beautifully arranged with materials, child sized furniture, tables and rugs. There is no blackboard or central space for the children to watch the teacher. The children work independently on work of their choosing. The teacher’s role is to guide and inspire the children, by giving lessons when they are needed and removing obstacles from the children’s path so that they can be successful and joyful in their work. Dr. Montessori and many others observed that from this freedom, the children spontaneously developed self-discipline.

Dr. Montessori believed, like modern day neuroscience has proven, that the work of the hand was key for children’s successful development. She created scientifically based materials which give children opportunities to practice their skills through repetition to gain mastery and satisfaction. Current research points to the importance of developing resilience, executive function and cognitive flexibility for academic success. The freedoms and limits within the Montessori classroom give children the chance to make and correct their own mistakes, to learn to work in groups, and to exercise their will.

Montessori education is also education for peace. Dr. Montessori wrote: “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” She believed that providing children the opportunities to learn to work harmoniously together in their communities would help pave the groundwork for true peace on earth.

Find out more about the 3-6 year old classroom.

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