For most people, the Montessori method is a new concept. Contrary to popular belief, Montessori has been around for a long time. Montessori education has been in existence for over a century today.
Where was the first Montessori school? The first Montessori school was established in San Lorenzo, Rome Italy by Dr. Maria Montessori. It was the first of many Casa Dei Bambini or “Children’s House” schools. It opened on January 6, 1907. It served young children ages 3 to 7 years old from poor families whose parents leave their children to their own devices to work.
Montessori education has been around for exactly 115 years today since the first Casa Dei Bambini opened its doors.
In Western Europe, several Montessori schools opened in 1910.
In 1911, the first Montessori school in the country opened in Scarborough, New York. Unlike Casa Dei Bambino, the first New York Montessori school, like most Montessori schools today, catered to rich families. Prominent figures during the time like Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison supported the school.
The child-centered approach of Montessori education follows the child’s interests, abilities, learning style, and pace. The lessons, classroom design, furniture, toys, learning materials, and activities are chosen according to the child’s overall developmental needs and well-being.
It involves the child, the parents, the teachers, and the school working together to support growth and development.
Children’s voices, interests, and needs take priority.
Montessori education revolves around the 5 main principles of Montessori.
The child-centered approach respects the child as a whole person. They are not looked down upon or treated as a child but as a unique individual capable of learning and independent thinking.
Montessori education empowers children and boosts their confidence
Respect for the child is shown by giving children the freedom to make creative choices, do activities on their own, seek relationships, and collaborate with peers instead of relying on their teachers.
Young children have a growing, developing brain that is constantly absorbing new information.
Children are always curious and ready to learn. A young brain absorbs more information faster and retains knowledge much better than adults.
Montessori nurtures their absorbent minds by providing them with the right tools, knowledge, and activities so they can achieve optimum learning.
Sensitive periods are certain periods in a child’s life where they are more open to learning. It only lasts as long as is necessary to learn the skill of interest.
Sensitive periods only happen once and cannot be regained when lost.
Montessori teachers are highly trained to observe and recognize sensitive periods so children get the right support at the right time.
The Montessori classroom is a prepared environment that addresses all learning requirements and needs of the child.
It is designed to support sensitive periods and the growth of Montessori students.
The design, learning materials, and activities are constantly updated as children learn and progress
The prepared environment of Montessori offers appropriate activities and learning materials that are vital for children’s education. The children are then left to choose which activities they want to pursue and finish.
Independent learning means learning the prepared lessons and activities on their own within the prepared environment with rules and boundaries.
Independent learning gives children a sense of responsibility for learning.
From the small town of San Lorenzo, Rome, Montessori education has grown and expanded all over the world.
Currently, there are over 20,000 Montessori schools in 110 countries.
In the country, we have over 5,000 Montessori schools. It has come a long way since 1907.
Are there Montessori schools in poor areas in the country? Yes, there are plenty. Montessori schools are usually located in school districts and school zones. You can check your local directories. You can also check with the American Montessori Internationale (AMI) or American Montessori Society (AMS). both have online directories and online locators to help you find a Montessori school near you.
Do Montessori schools provide school services or school buses? Yes, like all schools, Montessori provides school transport for their students.
Is Montessori education the same today as it was first established? The Montessori principles, core concepts, and philosophy have remained the same since 1907. The methods, technology, materials, techniques, and other elements have changed for the better to adjust to modern times. Montessori has not changed through time, it has been elevated and improved.
The first Montessori school was established in San Lorenzo, Rome Italy by Dr. Maria Montessori. It was the first of many Casa Dei Bambini or “Children’s House” schools. It opened on January 6, 1907. It served young children ages 3 to 7 years old from poor families whose parents leave their children to their own devices to work.
Montessori education has come a long way. It will continue to grow and improve as children and the times change. What will remain the same is Montessori’s goal to help children become independent and productive individuals.