4 Tenants of the Montessori Method

montessori student reading in the classroom

The Montessori Method is an educational philosophy that puts the success of the child first. Once you understand the Dr. Montessori’s basic beliefs, you’ll see why so many children grow and thrive in a Montessori learning environment.

1) Children Want to Learn
Maria Montessori’s entire philosophy was built around respect for the children she had the privilege to teach. Kids know that they won’t be kids forever, and most of them are looking forward to becoming strong, intelligent, and contributive members of their community. But childhood lasts for a long time, and these bright souls need to be empowered with the tools that will help them succeed.

All Montessori tactics and materials assume that kids want to be engaged with their own education. If a child is struggling or disengaged, it’s not a sign of laziness; there’s probably something standing between them and their own developmental goals. Maintaining this attitude has allowed Montessori teachers to help countless children learn and grow in a way that works for them.

2) Learning Takes Time
Rushed modules and timed assessment tests don’t actually help students succeed. Children need to be allowed to devote real time to the skills they are trying to learn. After all, learning even the simplest skills takes legitimate work and attention. If students aren’t allowed to devote this attention, they won’t be able to grow at a natural pace.

All Montessori schools give children large blocks of uninterrupted work time. These “work periods” give kids a chance to devote their full attention to a task. Montessori students are also allowed to choose their own activities, and they’re not required to put down a lesson until they’ve explored everything that can hold their interest.

3) Environments Can Be Cultivated
“Freedom within limits” is one of the core ideas of Montessori education, and it’s most accurately expressed in the design of a Montessori classroom. Children need to be allowed to explore things at their own pace, but they also need a safe and structured environment in which to grow and learn.

Montessori teachers spend a surprising amount of time designing and preparing the environment for their students. Montessori kids always walk into a tidy classroom full of exciting learning materials that are designed just for them. Kids are allowed to interact with everything in the classroom environment, giving them a sense of true freedom that’s hard to realize in other parts of their lives.

4) Kids Learn Differently as They Grow
Maria Montessori believed strongly in the idea of different stages of learning. Children need to learn many different skills, and there’s usually a time when they’re most receptive to each one. Montessori spent part of her career tracking these learning stages and making assumptions about when kids would be ready for each kind of lesson.

In the modern day, Montessori teachers use a combination of scientific research and practical application to guide your kids at a healthy rate. Every student’s individual limitations are respected; some kids learn at a different pace, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Throughout their Montessori education, your kids will be allowed to learn in a way that makes sense for their current stage of development.

The Montessori Method is less about specific books and materials and more about treating kids with the right educational mindset. By believing that children have a natural desire to learn, Montessori teachers have shown that any child can make massive strides when they’re allowed to work at their own pace.

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