Frequently Asked Questions
Montessori Philosophy and Method of Education was written by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900s while working with mentally handicapped children, and then applying the same techniques to “normal” children in a slum district of Rome. The first Casa dei Bambini or Children’s House was established in 1907 in Rome, Italy. She believed that if the principles of nature are applied to the education of children, they will show powerful, inborn qualities such as love of order, intelligence, spontaneous self-discipline and affinity with others. She believed in individualized learning, and freedom within limits. Process of learning is more important than the product.
Dr. Montessori emphasized three key points in all her books: an orderly prepared environment; a humble, observing teacher; and freedom for the child were key to the proper development of the child. She respected the uniqueness of each child, and believed that they could reach their potential if given the right environment.
- Three year age range in a classroom
- Freedom to move around the room
- Individual and Small group lessons
- Self-correcting materials
- Enhanced curriculum
- Emphasis on Individuality
- Natural and Logical consequences
- One age (grade) in a classroom
- Seated at desks, controlling environment
- Large group lessons
- Teacher as source of answers
- Grade level curriculum
- Emphasis on conformity
- Rewards and Punishments
- Montessori classrooms have a 3 year age range, allowing spontaneous transfer of knowledge from older to younger children. It gives the older children the opportunity to be role models, while providing the natural motivation to the younger children to work on more challenging materials.
- Since the children in a mixed age classroom stay in the same class for 3 years, about two-thirds of the class returns each year. This provides a more stable classroom environment and builds a strong sense of community.