The Montessori Method refers to a child-centred educational approach developed by Dr. Maria Montessori that encourages educators to perceive children as learners with a thirst for knowledge and the capacity to develop in their entirety – physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally – when provided with a favourable learning environment with no restrictions or criticism.
For a childhood education program to be recognized as applying the Montessori Method, it must meet the following conditions:
- Self education
Every material in the classroom must contribute to the development of at least one aspect of the child so that there is a fair balance between the activities provided and the child’s natural interests. This means they can respond freely to their natural curiosities and experience the joy, confidence, and fulfillment that comes with physical, psychological, and intellectual growth.
- A specially prepared environment
The learning environment is carefully prepared to expose the children to the materials and experiences that draw out their need to learn and grow. The environment is bright, and contains both nonliving and living things such as plants and pets that the children can learn to care for.
- Individual instruction
Since every child is encouraged to react to their own curiosities, the directress can only provide individualized instruction on a one-on-one basis. This kind of personal interaction allows the instructor to identify and nurture the unique traits of each child. At the same time, individual instructive materials are provided during group sessions to allow children to learn and develop at their own pace. These lessons are brief and direct, and only intended to enhance the child’s self-worth.
- Instructive materials for every stage of development
The Montessori Method makes use of specially designed educational materials for every stage of child development, from simple instructive tools for toddlers to the more intricate materials. Each item is tailored to maximize the child’s experience and gradually lead to more intricate tasks.
- The educator as a trained directress
The Montessori Method emphasizes learning as opposed to teaching, so the role of the directress is merely an instructional or enabling one. The role of the teacher is to prepare and maintain the learning environment to ensure that everything the children need is readily accessible. Moreover, the directress is always present to attend to the individual needs of the learners, serve as a positive role model, and guide the children towards independence, self-study, and self-confidence.
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Childventures Early Learning Academy uses The Montessori Method in our early childhood programs. Visit our website or contact us for more information.