“Montessori is a philosophy with the fundamental tenet that a child learns best within a social environment which supports each individual’s unique development.”
–from Montessori Education,
published by the American Montessori Society
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 to 1952), the creator of what is called “The Montessori Method of Education,” was an Italian doctor, philosopher, and educator. She held the distinction of being Italy’s first woman physician.
In her research, Dr. Montessori noted specific characteristics associated with the child’s interests and abilities at each level of development. She posited that a school carefully designed to meet the needs and interests of the child’s would be effective if it were consistent with the basic principles of psychology. Rather than fight the laws of nature; Montessori suggests that we follow the “child,” allowing him to show us how best to foster the development of his human potential.
This video gives a parent’s perspective of Montessori, and the “big picture” difference of how children flourish in a true Montessori experience vs. the non-Montessori, traditional form of education.
Learning in the Prepared Environment
The Montessori classroom is commonly referred to as a “prepared environment.” This term reflects the importance of creating a learning environment which reinforces a child natural curiosity, independence, and intellectual development.
An important element of this prepared environment is the use of special Montessori materials. Based on her studies of the children’s learning, Dr. Montessori noted that most children do not learn from memorizing what they hear from their teachers or read in a book, but from concrete experience and direct interaction with their environment. Montessori materials are designed to facilitate concrete learning in every area of the curriculum. For a more detailed explanation of Montessori Education, contact Asheville Montessori School and ask for a copy of Montessori Education: Questions and Answers, published by the American Montessori Society.
“Children who have been educated using the Montessori Method grow into competent learners who know how to learn and love learning. The solid foundation begun early in life creates self-confident, contributing adults.”
–from The Early Childhood Years (3-6),
published by the American Montessori Society.
Montessori Teacher Training
We are often asked how does one become a Montessori teacher? We encourage serious candidates to become acquainted with the exceptional programs found on the American Montessori Society website. A quality program will often involve –
- 3 to 4 weeks of intensive training during the summer
- an internship under an experienced teacher for an entire school year
- a weekend of continued study each month at the training center
- completion of curriculum albums
- 8 to 10 observations of various Montessori classrooms.