Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. Children work in groups and individually to discover and explore knowledge of the world and to develop their maximum potential.
Montessori classrooms are beautifully crafted environments designed to meet the needs of children in a specific age range. Dr. Maria Montessori discovered that experiential learning in this type of classroom led to a deeper understanding of language, mathematics, science, music, social interactions, and much more.
Every material in a Montessori classroom supports an aspect of child development; creating a match between the child’s natural interests and the available activities. Children are free to learn through their own experience and at their own pace. They can respond at any moment to the natural curiosities that exist in all humans and build a solid foundation for life-long learning.
*Excerpted from the Montessori Northwest website: www.montessori-nw.org
What are the key elements of a Montessori classroom?
- Mixed age grouping of at least 3 year span
- Freedom of choice in activity
- A 3-hour, uninterrupted work cycle
- Didactic materials developed by Dr. Maria Montessori
- An expectation of respect for others, the materials, and the surrounding environment
In Montessori education the child chooses what she will do based upon her own interest. The ability to choose for one’s self is an empowering privilege. By freely choosing work, the child begins to experience concentration and a love of engaging in hard work. When this is repeated regularly, the child builds self-direction and a sense of capability and responsibility. It is the pathway to authentic self- esteem.
At Yucca Blossom Montessori Community, we know that the adult, teacher or assistant, is there to guide the child gently and consistently toward greater growth and success.