Montessori education focuses on independent and hands-on learning experiences. Montessori learning revolves around the idea of “learning by doing” and as a mom, I also believe in the same philosophy, and embrace it in our daily life.
So, what is Montessori learning? Montessori learning is developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian educator, and physician who made the Montessori philosophy phenomenal and popular today with her innovative or out-of-the-box approach to education. Montessori learning has its focus on respect for the child’s unique learning pace, independence, and freedom to explore.
The Montessori method is based on Dr. Maria Montessori’s belief that a child has that innate curiosity that allows them to learn and discover by exploring their environment. The educators’ and parents’ role then would be to provide a prepared environment that will support and nurture the child’s natural curiosity to learn. With this method, children develop confidence, be self-motivated and develop a love for lifelong learning at an early age.
What is the Montessori Method of Learning?
The Montessori method of learning was the brainchild of Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian doctor, and educator who rebranded education focusing on the unique learning pace of every child. With the Italian educator’s innovative approach to learning, the Montessori method now sees the student as an active and direct participant in learning, not just a passive receiver.
The Montessori method has produced the likes of Jeff Bezos, George Clooney, and Anne Frank.
Learning Just Got Up Close and Personal
One of the top benefits of going for a Montessori learning method is that it provides your children with a prepared environment or a personalized stage set for them to learn optimally while taking into account every child’s unique and individual personality, interests, and skills. Not every child is musically inclined, some are into painting, solving puzzles, or even scientific explorations, so leaning into what the child is good at or is interested in would be the best way to know which activities would be best for them.
A Classroom Open for Exploration
With a Montessori classroom, you’ll see a classroom that is filled with exciting and diverse learning toys and materials. It’s not a typical traditional school classroom filled with chairs because the room is an avenue for exploration. You will see it in action when children and teachers are divided into groups and are busy doing different activities and the children would often be sprawled on the floor while manipulating educational toys. The room is spacious, organized, and filled with a variety of learning toys and materials, integrating play with learning.
In a Montessori classroom, you will have hands-on learning experience working on different materials, tools, and toys, and not just centered on using textbooks. It’s an interactive learning experience because the children are engaging with all five senses and are not just reading or memorizing information. With hands-on exploration, the children are learning in 3D!
In a Montessori environment, children are given the freedom to make choices, take on responsibilities, and seek collaborations, which empowers children with the power of making decisions, a practical life valuable skill until adulthood.
It’s exciting how children of different ages learn and explore things together in a Montessori classroom. With this setup, older children take the lead and act as mentors while the younger ones learn from and collaborate with older kids.
Teachers as Guides and Mentors
Unlike in the traditional classroom setting, teachers in a Montessori classroom are dubbed as guides and mentors. In essence, they don’t just teach but encourage children to explore and be critical of the information they receive.
Empathy and Positive Impact
In a fast-paced world, children are molded to develop empathy and build connections with their environment and the people around them. The Montessori method believes that stronger collaborations and communications are needed now more than ever, especially in this ever-changing landscape. And children are taught the value of socialization and empathy at a young age. Developing empathy and selflessness helps prepare children in creating a positive impact in the world.
The Montessori method opens up children to the power of embracing hands-on learning – and that mistakes can be a tool to take it up a notch and get better.
What is the Purpose of Montessori Learning?
Montessori Learning has always been an advocate and prime mover in terms of providing holistic education for children. This educational method is focused on the child’s unique individual learning pace and experiential learning. With this learning philosophy, children develop independence, resilience, self-confidence, empathy, and a love for learning.
The Montessori method teaches children to build and develop a stronger sense of self because putting value on yourself also brings out your best version of the world, and at the same time harness both emotional and social development.
Lifelong Love for Learning
Montessori children are always hungry to learn. With the Montessori method, children are exposed to different learning stimuli in the environment that help tickle their curious minds to explore and love learning.
With the Montessori method, children develop the drive or hunger for learning without leaning toward any external motivators or rewards. The goal is for children to look inwards and learn because they feel the joy and purpose of doing so. The reward is learning itself.
Development of Multiple Senses
Developing and nurturing all senses is part of the Montessori way of learning. Stimulating all senses helps develop the physical, intellectual, social, and emotional facets of a child, giving that holistic growth and development.
Practical Life Skills
When you enroll your child in a Montessori school, you don’t just prepare them for the small stuff – you prepare them for life! The Montessori method helps equip children with the knowledge, mental and emotional agility, as well as skills to thrive in their adult years. Life skills such as self-care or bathing themselves, dressing up, or pouring themselves a drink may seem like simple tasks but these prepare children for bigger and more complex tasks.
Finding Meaning in Learning
Learning doesn’t have to be boring with the Montessori method. With this educational method, children can choose tasks or activities that are aligned with their interests. Activities in the Montessori method are curated in a way that is enjoyable and also connected to realistic scenarios. In turn, kids find joy and meaning in the learning process.
Some people want it easy but it’s the people who push through the pain and challenges that build their grit and mental resilience. Montessori learning aims to deepen and intensify the love for learning by nurturing the growth mindset. Curiosity fueled by the hunger for learning and constant improvement despite hurdles and difficulties makes up a child’s growth mindset.
Awareness of the World
A child may initially feel that the world will always give them what they want – but it may not be the case. The child becomes aware that everything is interconnected in the world and develops that respect and appreciation of diverse cultures, beliefs, and even ways of life. Becoming more open and aware of these differences, help bring out a child who knows the reality of life and that sometimes you don’t just get every single thing you want right now – but you always have options to get them in the future or receive them in a different package. The Montessori method gives that sense of awareness of the world, with many things out of your control, but the good news is that you can always focus on what you can control and maximize that.
Sense of Self-Worth
The Montessori method with its emphasis on self-directed exploration and learning helps boost a child’s self-confidence. Children are encouraged to explore, take risks, and discover resilience amid challenges because they know how to trust and lean into their skills.
Work that Feels Like Play
Work and play need not be dissociated from each other. With the Montessori philosophy, work can always be as fun and stimulating as play. Creating an environment that has a positive interplay between children and also their learning materials help impart and develop that love for learning. Learning can be hard but we can always choose our hard and go for what will make us better people.
For all it’s worth, the Montessori method brings about a multi-factorial change in the life of a child that involves the mental, emotional, physical, and social facets that prepare kids not just for academics but for a meaningful life.
How does Montessori education personalize learning? Montessori education is different from traditional educational practices because it is highly personalized to every child, providing a child-centered and flexible learning process and environment.
What practical life skills are enhanced in Montessori learning? Many practical life skills are developed in Montessori learning such as critical thinking, independence, self-confidence, flexibility, problem-solving, analytical, grit, perseverance, collaboration, and self-reliance that children can bring from the classroom to the real world.
Montessori Learning is founded by Dr. Maria Montessori who believes in an education that is individualized and child-focused. The Montessori method believes in celebrating the unique abilities, personalities, talents, and interests of every child and in curating a learning environment that will bring out the best in every child so they can go out into the world equipped with the right positive mindset, mental agility, confidence, resilience, and social skills to bring about positive change in the world.