Parents often ask about the Montessori teaching method. With too much information available, it is hard to get the right answer. Let us help you.
What is Montessori teaching all about? Montessori teaching is all about the child. It is a child-centered method of teaching that offers child-directed and child-motivated activities. It uses hands-on learning and collaborative work in teaching Students. It does not spoon-feed information. Teachers in Montessori offer age-appropriate lessons and activities while students make their own choices in learning. Montessori students work individually or in groups.
The Montessori method of teaching revolves around these key principles:
In Montessori, each student is respected not as a child but as a separate and unique individual. Respect for the child is shown through:
- Uninterrupted periods so children can focus and concentrate.
- Freedom of choice where they follow their own interests, work independently at their own pace and learn on their own within the limits and boundaries set in the Montessori environment.
- Allowing children to handle conflicts through peaceful resolution on their own while teachers observe.
- Teachers observe children’s behavior and progress without judgment.
Early childhood is a crucial period where a person’s brain is open to soaking in information more than any stage of life. During this time, learning is effortless if children are given the right tools and support.
Children, like all human beings, are thinking beings. Using all their senses, children are constantly absorbing new information like a sponge.
It is this ability that is harnessed and nurtured in the Montessori environment.
Sensitive periods are periods in young children’s lives where they are intensely interested in learning specific tasks or skills. Sensitive periods occur only once. It lasts as long as the child learns the skill.
For example, at a certain age, children are most interested in scribbling. It is during this time that they should be taught basic writing because they are already interested in it. By doing so, teaching the child is easier compared to teaching it at a later time when they are no longer interested.
Montessori teachers are trained to observe students and identify sensitive periods so they can support the child’s learning and development. Sensitive periods occur at different times in each child.
Montessori education believes in preparing the Montessori environment in advance according to the child’s learning requirements. This will provide a space conducive to learning.
The Montessori classroom is designed with lessons and activity areas where children can manage their own time and make choices in learning.
Montessori students explore, discover, and work independently or together in groups.
In Montessori, children are allowed to learn on their own within the prepared environment. They make their own choices and discoveries.
Children are capable thinkers and decision-makers.
This is a belief in Montessori education that fosters independence and autonomy.
Montessori uses the spiral curriculum where information is simplified into logical progression, repeated and deepened as children learn and improve. Lessons are revisited and added to achieve deeper learning.
These are activities that children need to learn, are currently learning, and need to master.
These are activities that are appropriate to their age, abilities, and stage of learning.
For example, children in preschool are taught how to dress and eat on their own. Elementary students learn how to prepare food, cook, use tools, and many more.
These are activities that use, stimulate, and enhance all seven senses. The seven senses are sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, balance, and body awareness.
Sensorial activities like identifying colors, shapes, and patterns, solving puzzles and mazes will help prepare children for complex lessons like mathematics and sciences
Sensorial activities sharpen children’s minds.
The Montessori curriculum provides children with the necessary skills and knowledge they need in achieving a deeper understanding of language and improving their vocabulary.
Students learn reading and comprehension, writing, and oral skills.
Language is taught through experiential learning through peer and teacher interactions, and other experiential activities.
In Montessori, Mathematics is taught through experiential learning. Children learn simple mathematics to abstract concepts and relationships through hands-on experiences.
Montessori learning materials like hundred boards and hanging bead stairs are used instead of textbooks.
Montessori believes that learning through practical experiences allows students to have a deeper understanding compared to using textbooks and exams.
Subjects in culture cover many things. It includes sciences, zoology, botany, geography, history, arts, music, humanities, civics, and many more.
Montessori finds much importance in teaching students to care for people and the environment to help them become good members of society.
Montessori students are taught to be excellent academic students and to be outstanding members of the community as well.
How will I know if the Montessori teaching method is the right fit for my child? The Montessori method is fit for all children. It looks at the child as an individual and their specific needs are considered and addressed. If you are unsure, a Montessori school visit will help you determine if it is indeed the right step for your child.
How will I know if the Montessori method is effective? The effects of Montessori on your child can be seen not just in their behavior in school but also at home. Montessori schools also provide updates on your child regularly.
Will my child have a hard time adjusting to the Montessori method from the traditional method? As with most changes, children will have an adjustment period. It will not be a hard transition though because Montessori schools make sure children are supported every step of the way.
Montessori teaching is all about the child. It is a child-centered method of teaching that offers child-directed and child-motivated activities. It uses hands-on learning and collaborative work in teaching Students. It does not spoon-feed information. Teachers in Montessori offer age-appropriate lessons and activities while students make their own choices in learning. Montessori students work individually or in groups.
The Montessori method is most effective when the school and parents work together. Children thrive when everyone in their surroundings is in sync.