History of Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori gave the world a scientific method, practical and tested, for bringing forth the very best in young human beings.

She taught how to respect individual
differences, and to emphasize social interaction
and the education of the whole personality
rather than the teaching of a specific body of
knowledge.

Montessori practice is always up to date and dynamic because observation and the meeting of needs is continual and specific to each child. When physical, mental, spiritual and emotional needs are  met, children glow with excitement and a drive to play and work with  enthusiasm to learn and create. They exhibit a desire to teach, help,  and care for others and their environment.

Philosophy

Montessori teachers take into account where each child is at during a specific point in time rather than imposing our idea of what the child should learn at that time.

“Follow the child, but follow the child as his leader.” – Maria Montessori

“You cannot imagine how well a young child learns from an older child; how patient the older child is with the difficulties of the younger.” – Maria Montessori

An environment where teachers are encouraging, engaging and value the individual child. Children learn how to learn, and this prepares each child for future academic and social excellence.

Children pass through phases in which at certain stages throughout their development they have a predisposition or sensitivity to learning a specific skill.

The prepared environment is designed so that the child has the maximum ability for learning and exploration, to foster independence in the child.

The children are taught and then expected to respect their environment, the materials, world, themselves, and others.

Benefits of Montessori

Maria Montessori found that children learn best through their activity and the use of all five senses.

Children in a Montessori environment are active learners, learning by doing, rather than simply watching or listening.

Children in Montessori classes learn at their own individual pace and according to their own interests and abilities from numerous possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.

  • Students work toward becoming independent learners who are deeply engaged in their learning.
  • Students are able to progress at a pace appropriate to their learning needs.
  • Students work towards developing positive social and community skills.
  • Students nurture a respect for themselves, their classmates, the community, and of our earth.
  •  Students develop an intrinsic joy of learning, self control, and concentration work.

Montessori Materials

The Montessori materials are an integral and central part of the Montessori philosophy. They facilitate children’s cognitive development From concrete learning to abstract thinking and they provide children the chance to discover and learn for him or herself.

Each piece of material presents one concept or idea at a time and has what is known as a “control of error”. If the child has done something incorrectly it will be self-evident. Being able to see his or her own mistake allows the child to work independently.

Each teacher thoughtfully prepares their classrooms/environment with Montessori materials that will support the children to learn from the environment and the teacher helps put the child in touch with the environment. The selection of the material by the teacher is very important.

Montessori Hundred Board

The Hundred Board is a fun and educational exercise found in the Montessori classroom to help children with their counting from 1 to 100.

It is simply a board with 100 squares (10 x 10 squares), that come with 100 number tiles that fit nicely. Some of them come with a control card too (this is basically a board/card with pre-printed numbers on it.)

The Binomial Cube

Made up of 8 red, black and blue cubes and prisms – the early childhood student develops visual discrimination of color and form. The elementary child labels the parts to explore, concretely, the algebraic formula (a+b)3. The upper elementary child uses the binomial cube as the foundation for work with more advanced
materials to solve algebraic equations.

The direct purpose is to build the cube. Indirect
purpose is for preparation for mathematics: the
cube of a binomial and introduction for algebra.

Video Resources

Millard: Montessori for Middle School

Montessori Middle School for the 21st Century

Inside Montessori Schools

Dr Steve Hughes: Montessori and the Future of Education

Trevor Eissler "Montessori Madness!"