Maria Montessori developed her teaching method by observing her students and looking for ways to help them grow. Montessori learning emphasizes comprehension, engagement, and the development of skills. Through the carefully-designed features of a Montessori classroom, students are given the chance to learn in way that works for them.
The Montessori philosophy is that students learn best when they can engage directly with an activity. Long lectures and textbook readings don’t work, especially for young students who are still learning such fundamental things about the world. Instead, students are exposed to exciting activities that engage their curiosity and allow them to gain practical life skills. Young students might stack blocks, solve puzzles, or learn to do manual activities like pouring water between two cups. Older students might build scale models, play with musical instruments, or work on their artistic skills.
A Montessori school day includes one or more work cycles. These uninterrupted time blocks allow students to engage fully with the activities of their choice. It’s easier to get things done when you’re allowed to focus. Montessori students enjoy the ability to work on a project or a topic until they’re satisfied with what they’ve learned. Students can also switch between activities freely, encouraging them to maintain their own momentum throughout the workday.
Montessori teachers carefully select the learning materials that their students will have access to. Students can expect to find items that are always perfect for their age level and current academic interests. As a student develops, their teacher finds new materials to encourage their talents. And because the classroom is a community environment, children also get access to a variety of materials that reflect the interests of their classmates and friends.
Support and Guidance
The Montessori method wouldn’t work without the continual efforts of the teachers. Teachers are responsible for selecting materials, planning activities, and knowing what each of their students needs to learn and grow. They also remain present throughout the entire school day, making sure that every student feels confident and capable. Teachers will often lead group lessons or engage in one-on-one tutoring. If a student needs help or has a question, they only need to ask.
The entire Montessori method is based around the idea that children want to learn. Montessori students are presented with interesting materials and given time to explore. No matter how old the student is, this process results in the development of both skills and personality. Montessori learning creates students who are independent, interested, capable both at school and throughout the rest of their lives.