Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the highly trained teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process.Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the highly trained teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. Children work in groups and individually to discover and explore knowledge of the world and to develop their maximum potential.Montessori classrooms are beautifully crafted environments designed to meet the needs of children in a specific age range. Dr. Maria Montessori discovered that experiential learning in this type of classroom led to a deeper understanding of language, mathematics, science, music, social interactions and much more. Most Montessori classrooms are secular in nature, although the Montessori educational method can be integrated successfully into a faith-based program.Every material in a Montessori classroom supports an aspect of child development, creating a match between the child’s natural interests and the available activities. Children can learn through their own experience and at their own pace. They can respond at any moment to the natural curiosities that exist in all humans and build a solid foundation for life-long learning.The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) was established by Maria Montessori in 1929 to protect the integrity of her work and to support high standards for both teacher training and schools. Today, AMI continues to uphold Maria Montessori’s vision while collaborating with contemporary research in neuroscience and child development. Montessori Northwest is proud to be an official teacher training center of AMI, training teachers to work with children from birth to age twelve.The Montessori Curriculum offers children five key areas of study: Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language, and Cultural Studies. Each area of study is made up of a set of educational materials that increase in complexity. Children progress through the Montessori Curriculum at their own pace based on their stage of development and interests.Montessori educators present key lessons to introduce children to the name and learning outcomes of each Montessori material. After a Key Lesson, the children work with the Montessori material independently to practice, explore, and make connections to the key learning outcomes.During this time, Montessori educators stand back, observe how the children are learning, and document their progress. An educator will only intervene if needed, to encourage children’s independence, as there is a direct link between children’s sense of empowerment and their ability to learn and retain new skills and information.
New lessons are provided when a child is ready to progress to the next stage. Through repetition and practice, children master the progression of the Montessori materials, and develop a fundamental understanding of each curriculum area.