The term Montessori learning gets thrown around a lot by parents – but what exactly is Montessori learning? And how does it work?
Learning About the Montessori Method for Children
In July of 1896, Maria Montessori became the first female medical doctor in Italy. She had broken new ground by defying the odds and using her determination and intellect to enter what had been a field of study reserved solely for men. This great triumph was only the first of her many significant contributions to the world. Apart from her great success as a doctor, she is widely known for developing the Montessori method utilized in specialized schools.
Early childhood development
Dr. Montessori spent much time focusing her study on early childhood development, and her discoveries led her to conclude that emphasizing observational learning for young children led to a deeper understanding of how the world around them worked. To protect and further develop her findings, Dr. Montessori established the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) in 1929. To this day, the association works closely with experts in the neuroscience and child development fields of study to maintain an active and up-to-date program.
Today’s Montessori schools, based on the first Casa dei Bambini, or “Children’s House,” founded by Dr. Montessori in 1907, believe that students should lead the learning process. Dr. Montessori’s research had concluded that introducing children to an environment where they were free to explore activities designed to aid their natural development gave them the power to harness these tools and educate themselves. In Montessori schools, children are free to play and learn with other students, or to explore more independently. In either case, the emphasis is on a learning style that encourages the children to actively engage with the world around them at their own pace in a hands-on way.
Montessori teachers are comprehensively trained in the Montessori method and are well-equipped to help each child. Montessori schools, which serve children from birth through middle school, are broken into a variety of age groups to ensure that each child is among their peers for the most constructive learning environment possible. Each teacher’s training allows them to specialize in aiding in the learning process of a specific age group.
Receiving a Montessori Education
Both part-time and full-time Montessori daycares, available for children from birth through preschool, are open for parents to take advantage of. These specialized Montessori preschools divide children into different age groups to ensure that each child receives a safe, nurturing environment and full access to resources necessary for development. This stage of the Montessori education places focuses on developing and refining such things as gross motor coordination and essential language skills.
The next stage of the Montessori education, known as the Elementary stage, fosters intellectual independence in each student. They explore a plethora of opportunities for collaborative learning with the other students in their age group.
The Montessori education system is a highly researched and expertly run program designed to allow students to take charge of their education and develop intellectual independence, as well as respect for the natural world and its inhabitants.
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