What Is the Montessori Method?

The Montessori Method is a prepared educational environment where children can live and work in freedom and peace. Based on Maria Montessori’s keen observations of children and her astute insights into how children learn, she developed an environment of child-size everything and rich learning materials that answer the needs of the child’s emerging developmental impulses.

Montessori saw with the eyes of the heart. She consistently worked to put dignity within reach of every child. As a physician, her heart went out to children considered to be deficient and uneducable. She worked with them using hands-on materials and within one school year, they passed the state exams and surpassed many of their so called normal peers.

The application of these same techniques to normal children proved to unlock previously unseen and unrecognized potential. She saw that children have sponge-like absorbent minds in the first six years and need to be always active. She saw that there were powerful “sensitive periods” in development when certain kinds of learning are easy and natural.

Montessori experimented and created learning materials to facilitate the child’s spontaneous learning. She observed that when left free to choose materials in a carefully prepared environment, each child will select what he needs when he needs it.

She designed an early childhood education program that engages all facets of each child’s development. Her classrooms contain four major avenues of work:

  • Practical Life
  • Sensorial Development
  • Development of Language
  • Early Preparation of the Mathematical Mind

With the opportunity to work for extended periods of time in peace and full concentration, children become calm and joyful. They learn with ease through their interaction with the environment, rather than through the words of the teacher. The fruits of an excellent Montessori program are children who love learning and are fully engaged in their own self-development.