child is born with a desire to learn.
to Dr. Maria Montessori, the mind of a young child has a
great capacity for absorbing a tremendous variety of experiences.
"The most important period of life is
from birth to the age of six," said Dr. Montessori,
"for that is the time when a person's intelligence
itself is being formed." If the child's experiences
during these years are limited, the most impressionable
years are lost forever.
essential concept of the Montessori approach to education
is that every child carries unseen within, the adult that
she/he one day will become. In order to develop his/her
full physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional potential
the child must have the right physical, intellectual, and
emotional environment during the years of early childhood.
is based on respect: respect for the child, respect for
his family, and respect for all life. The youngest child
is treated with great respect for his independence and dignity
as a growing human being.
educators recognize that no two children are the same. They
grow in their own ways, at their own individual pace. As
children develop they may find that they learn a given skill
in ways that their classmates may not. Montessori teachers
respect the differences among the children and allow them
is a philosophy and method of education which emphasizes
the potential of the young child and which develops this
potential by utilizing specially trained teachers and specially
designed teaching materials.
recognizes in each child a natural curiosity and desire
to learn: the Montessori materials awaken this desire and
channel this curiosity into a learning experience which
each child can enjoy. Montessori materials help the child
to better understand what they learn by associating an abstract
concept with a concrete sensorial experience. In this manner,
the Montessori child is actually learning, and not simply
memorizing. The Montessori Method stresses that the child
learns and progresses at their own pace so that fast learners
are not held back, and slow learners are not frustrated
by their inability to keep up.
learning takes place best in an environment that allows
the child the freedom to make discoveries while providing
ground rules and programmed materials which allow a child
to move from hands on concrete manipulation to abstract
Montessori environment includes a fine balance between structure
and freedom. The concept of freedom, a freedom which entails
responsibility, is gradually introduced from the time the
children enter school. Freedom does not involve only being
able to do what you want to do. It involves being able to
distinguish what is constructive and beneficial and then
being able to carry it out. Montessori children have a wide
variety of constructive paths to choose. They gain the skills
and tools to accomplish their choices and are taught the
social values that enable them to make enlightened choices.
tells us that creativity cannot be taught and that the child's
environment tends to either foster or restrict creativity.
To foster creativity, Dr. Montessori realized that the environment
must itself be beautiful, harmonious, and based on reality
in order for children to organize their perceptions of it.
Then they will be capable of selecting and emphasizing those
processes necessary for creative endeavors. Children, therefore,
need freedom to develop creativity--freedom to select what
attracts them in their environment, to relate to it without
interruption and for as long as they like, to discover solutions
and ideas and select answers on their own, and to communicate
and share their discoveries with others at will.
classroom is the child's work place. It is a safe, orderly,
open space that invites or draws the child into it to "work".
It contains materials and equipment necessary for children's
learning. Depending on the age and needs of the students
in the classroom, it will contain materials and equipment
for learning in the various curriculum areas. The environment
may contain materials for practical life, sensorial education,
language, math, geography, science, art and any other various
subject areas that are available for the students.
Montessori classroom offers over 500 unique self-teaching
materials. These materials accommodate many levels of ability.
They are not "teaching aids" in the traditional
sense, because their goal is not the external one of teaching
children skills or imparting knowledge through "correct
usage." Rather, their goal is an internal one of aiding
children's mental development and self-construction.
aid this growth by providing stimuli that captures children's
attention and initiating a natural form of concentration.
Children then use the apparatus to develop coordination,
attention to details, and good work habits. When the environment
offers materials that stimulate children, the teacher is
then able to give them the freedom needed for healthy development.
vs. MONTESSORI EDUCATION
are grouped chronologically, one age per class.
(two or three year age span)
is a pervasive emphasis on grades, merits, and social conformity.
is the root motivation.
class is seated at desks for most of time for group lessons.
"work" at tables, on floor; freedom of movement.
class, as a group, studies one subject at a time.
pursue their own self-paced curriculum, individually or in small
groups, in various parts of the learning environment.
children are taught by "truth middlemen" (teachers,
society's conforming values).
children are in direct contact with environment--i.e. natural,
sensory and cultural experiences.
schedules limit child's involvement.
blocks of time permit invaluable concentration.
frequent interruptions: bells, adult interventions.
of cognitive development until first grade.
cognitive skills developed before age six.
more flexible writing and reading opportunities.
& society correct pupils errors.
learn from their peers and self-correcting materials. The teachers
role is as a guide.
Montessori Accelerated Learning Center
4194 Pilot Knob Rd Eagan, MN 55123 (651)
3150 Eagle Creek Blvd Shakopee, MN 55379 (952)