THE STORY BEHIND THE METHOD
Montessori schools are based on the principles of Dr. Maria Montessori, the world-renowned Italian educator and physician. Her methods and philosophy are implemented in some 7,000 schools around the world. You’ll find a brief story of her life at the North American Montessori Teachers Association website.
Cleveland Montessori is firmly committed to Dr. Montessori’s principles.
What happens in a Montessori classroom?
- Independent activity constitutes about 80% of the work, and teacher-directed activity comprises the remaining 20% of the work at all levels.
- Subjects are taught in an integrated fashion. Instruction is not divided into specific time frames associated with a particular subject area or activity.
- Teachers generally work with the same group of students for two to three years.
- There is a balance of freedom and responsibility. Basic classroom rules dictate that a student is free to choose activities, but is responsible to structure choice and time to cover the curriculum.
- Classroom schedules allow for large blocks of time to problem solve, observe and understand interactions, make connections in knowledge and create new ideas.
- Classrooms are organized in two or three year age groupings in each classroom. Younger students learn from older students and older students benefit from being leaders and mentors. This is a basic premise of Montessori education.
- A diverse set of Montessori learning materials, hands-on activities and experiences are used to guide discovery and foster physical, intellectual, creative and social independence.
- The classroom atmosphere encourages social interaction to enhance cooperative learning, peer teaching, and emotional development.
- The teacher must be educated in the Montessori philosophy and methodology appropriate to the age level of the students.
- Children are seen as internally motivated and therefore extrinsic rewards such as stickers, candies etc… are not seen in the Montessori classroom.
- Montessori educators seek to have a classroom climate where children are not afraid to make errors and where making errors and learning from them is seen as a valuable part of developing lifelong learning.