What is the Montessori Method?
The Story behind the Method
Montessori schools are based on the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori, the world-renowned Italian educator and physician. Her methods and philosophy are implemented in some 7,000 schools around the world. You’ll find a brief story of her life at the North American Montessori Teachers Association website.
The Montessori School at Holy Rosary is firmly committed to Dr. Montessori’s principles. We are one of the only Cleveland-area Montessori schools accredited by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) --- founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori to maintain the integrity of her life's work.
What happens in a Montessori classroom?
- Independent activity constitutes about 80% of the work, and teacher-directed activity comprises the remaining 20% of the work at all levels.
- Subjects are taught in an integrated fashion. Instruction is not divided into specific time frames associated with a particular subject area or activity.
- Teachers generally work with the same group of students for three years.
- There is a balance of freedom and responsibility. Basic classroom rules dictate that a student is free to choose activities, but is responsible to structure choice and time to cover the curriculum.
- Classroom schedules allow for large blocks of time to problem solve, observe and understand interactions, make connections in knowledge and create new ideas.
- Classrooms are organized in three year age groupings in each classroom. Younger students learn from older students and older students benefit from being leaders and mentors. This is a basic premise of Montessori education.
- A diverse set of Montessori learning materials, hands-on activities and experiences are used to guide discovery and foster physical, intellectual, creative and social independence.
- The classroom atmosphere encourages social interaction to enhance cooperative learning, peer teaching, and emotional development.
- The teacher must be educated in the Montessori philosophy and methodology appropriate to the age level of the students.
- Children are seen as internally motivated and therefore extrinsic rewards such as stickers, candies etc… are not seen in the Montessori classroom.
- Montessori educators seek to have a classroom climate where children are not afraid to make errors and where making errors and learning form them is seen as a valuable part of developing lifelong learning.
"Montessori felt the classroom should nurture the … instinct to move about, to pass from one discovery to another … The physical environment of the classroom is designed to mimic a nature walk."