The Montessori Method focuses on the child as a motivated, self-driven learner. The student and teacher operate in balance with each other. Students select activities they wish to explore, while teachers support these choices and prepare a classroom environment that provides many opportunities for development.
What Does a Montessori Education Offer?
- The development of the “whole child”, from problem solving and critical thinking skills necessary for success in school and career, as well as the development of social skills and understandings of the individual’s place in society.
- An integrated approach to traditional subject areas, allowing students to become immersed in a topic and discover how everything is interrelated.
- Multi-aged classrooms with students who vary in ability and interest allow the child to learn and explore at his or her own pace, not that of a teacher or curriculum.
- The development of important self-regulating skills, including concentration, coordination, and independence, that help the child learn to educate himself and think about what is being learned.
- A close, caring community in which the child is valued, respected, and nurtured.
- Student-centered learning through the use of hands-on manipulatives that focus on one skill or concept at a time.
- Promotion of the teaching of real life skills that can be brought into the home to encourage independence and cooperation.
Children Learn Through Engaging Senses
Children in Montessori classrooms learn through the use of hands-on materials at the earliest levels that engage all the senses. As they grow, students move from concrete concepts to abstract concepts.
For example, students learning to add, subtract, or multiply numbers with two or more digits may use a color-coded bead frame to physically manipulate the numbers, while simultaneously recording the equations on paper.
Over time, students would eventually move away from the use of the concrete manipulatives and work solely with the written equation or algorithm. The manipulatives used in Montessori education are specially designed to be interesting and appealing to students.
The unique nature of the Montessori Method also encourages students to move at their own pace, only moving on to the next level when mastery is achieved. It is the child who decides this, as well as the child who recognizes errors and learns from them. Teachers model both the use of the manipulatives as well as the concept to be learned, then use observation to guide and facilitate student learning. Meadow Montessori School of Houston encompasses teaching through hands-on activities that are self-selected by the students.