Montessori Method of Teaching

A Montessori School is a multi-age level institution that provides self-directed, collaborative, and child-centered education to children from the age of three years and up. Montessori schools develop the child’s natural interest in the classroom unlike, other conventional educational institutions.

Sensory stimulation is a significant part of the Montessori curriculum that promotes hands-on learning and gives the child a boost of confidence. Materials like toys, blocks, puzzles, beads, and pictures are used to build the child’s interest in the classroom as well as keep the child attentive during the education process. 

This method was developed by an Italian physician Maria Montessori (1870-1952) in the year 1907. The method was initially developed for mentally challenged children, which then upon success was tried on slum children in 1907 and was titled “The Montessori Method”. This method of education was developed after Montessori’s scientific observations of human beings from birth to death. The observation of human behavior and Montessori’s pedagogical knowledge helped in the development of a system with appropriate aspects of philosophical, psychological, pedagogical, and scientific principles. This scientific and structured method of teaching changed the pre-school system. 

Montessori institutions know the importance of the individual needs of a young mind and help in bringing out the child’s inner potentialities. Children in a Montessori school have an opportunity to learn at their own pace and get personalized education that caters to their needs. The Montessori Method of teaching is designed to develop pupils’ confidence, independence, and intelligence. It provides a structured educational environment that not only helps children learn and grow but also has effective stimuli which keep the children attentive in the classroom.

The Montessori curriculum includes three classes of activities: (1) practical-based learning, (2) sensory stimulation,  (3) development of formal skills and education. Through this method, the child learns basic life skills pivotal for his mental and physical development. Montessori believed that physical and motor development played a huger role in a child’s education process. The repetition of physical exercise and activities develops muscular and sensory coordination in pupils. Maria Montessori believed that development should come from within. The environment in Montessori institutions is developed to facilitate holistic development. Montessori school’s individualized teaching method helps children learn and grow at their own pace. This method was developed to facilitate the needs of a young and growing mind. The children in a Montessori school have an opportunity to enjoy as they learn and have a  higher level of cognitive attainment in comparison to those who do not. They also have higher levels of social skills and behavioral habits.

Features of the Montessori classroom method

A Montessori School is a multi-age level institution that provides self-directed, collaborative, and child-centered education to children from the age of three years and up. The most notable feature of The Montessori method is the Hands-on learning method that promotes independence and confidence in children.

Other notable features of the Montessori method are:

Montessori Apparatus

The Montessori method provides materials that keep the child engaged during the education. These materials are made with metal, wood, cotton, and bamboo. Montessori education lays heavy emphasis on sensorial training and the use of concrete materials. The children are aware of their capabilities and knowledge. 

Prepared Environment

The environment in the Montessori classroom brings out the true nature of the child. There are three main components of the prepared environment of the Montessori method: the pupil, the environment itself, and the teacher. The interactions between these three components along with Montessori philosophy and technology help children achieve holistic development.

Freedom and Independence

Montessori method encourages children to make their own choices. The children have the freedom to explore, move around and interact with other pupils. Children have the freedom of choosing their activities and learning at their own pace.

Structure and order

with freedom comes responsibility. Children need to have a systematic and structured environment that helps them think rationally about the outcomes and develop confidence, reasoning skills, and balanced perception of the world and its outcomes.

Mixed-Age classrooms

The Montessori methods promotes the intermingling of different age groups.  As a multi-age-level educational system Montessori method is divided into 3 stages for different age groups: 3 to 6 years old, 6 to 9 years old, and 9 to 13 years old who sometimes also co-exist in the same classroom. The older pupils in the classroom eventually become mentors for the younger pupils and also act as helpers to the teachers.

What are the key elements of the Montessori Method?

Development from within

Education must aid in the complete unfolding of the child’s inner potentialities and individuality. 

Intrinsic rewarding and non-punishing system

Material rewards and incentives are external forces that hinder the natural growing process of the child. The development should come from within.

Individual development

The Montessori method caters to the importance of individuality amongst children. Each child in the classroom is a separate individual and every child should be helped and guided in a proper manner. 

Auto learning

The Montessori method promotes self-education. It is important to guide and help the child rather than making the child forcefully acquire information.

Absorbent Mind

The first six years of the child’s life are the crucial period for growth and development. The child during the first six years has an absorbent mind that is receptive to sensory information. The Montessori method provides a prepared environment and a structured curriculum that focuses on the child’s holistic development.

Sensory training

The senses are the gateway to knowledge. The senses are most active during early childhood years. The materials and apparatus in the Montessori method provide appropriate sensory stimulation that keeps the child attentive and engaged during the learning process.

Motor training

Motor development and physical development play a significant role in early childhood education. The curriculum involves a series of physical activities, exercises, and kinesthetics that help in the development of muscles and improves muscle memory.  

What does a child learn by using the Montessori method?

The Montessori Method of teaching is designed to develop pupils’ confidence, independence, and intelligence. It provides a structured educational environment that not only helps children learn and grow but also has effective stimuli which keep the children attentive in the classroom.

Through this method, the child learns basic life skills pivotal for his mental and physical development. Montessori believed that physical and motor development played a huger role in a child’s education process. The repetition of physical exercise and activities develops muscular and sensory coordination in pupils. The activities and curriculum in a Montessori school help the children in cognitive and physical development.

Children are encouraged to go outside and indulge in physical activities and exercises which develop motor skills and balance. Basic hygiene and self-care are also a part of the curriculum in Montessori schools. The Montessori method of teaching builds children’s confidence, sense of self-awareness, promotes cooperation, brings order and structure as well as sets an environment where children can concentrate. The children from Montessori institutions are explorers and seekers of knowledge.   Activities in the Montessori method of education are arranged in a series from difficult to easy. Children learn and succeed while doing the tasks at their own speed with their own experience.