Montessori is a system of education which has endured for over 100 years. This success stems from drawing on the child’s natural development. Serving children from birth to 18 years old in 7,000 schools worldwide, Montessori classrooms offer distinct characteristics.
Multi-age Classrooms: Students are typically grouped in multi-aged classrooms: 3-6 years old, 6-9 years old and 9-12 years old. This three-year grouping offers students the opportunity to interact with peers both older and younger. Older children are able to validate their skills by guiding a peer and a three-year-old aspires to the abilities of the nurturing, older student. This classroom arrangement enables students to develop self-confidence, independence and leadership. Classroom communities are built upon respect.
Montessori Materials: Most of the materials in our Montessori classrooms were designed by Maria Montessori and her associates. Carefully sequenced on the shelves, these teaching materials enable the students to learn with their hands and through their senses. Each Montessori material is designed to focus on one specific concept and, when students master that concept, they progress to the next material. Many of these materials are self-correcting, and as the students actively work with them, learning becomes a process of discovery.
Freedom to Choose: It was Maria Montessori who observed that, when given freedom, students are more satisfied with their choices. Students in our classrooms have the opportunity and freedom to make their own work choices. This leads to independence and autonomy as students increasingly take ownership of their education. It is the head teacher’s responsibility to ensure that students are connecting to all areas of the curriculum.