Montessori is an education method that is becoming more and more popular. More and more educational centers are using this method. The creator of this method was Dr. Maria Montessori. She was an Italian physician, educator, and innovator.
This method is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children and characterized by self-directed activities and self-correcting materials. The Montessori method views the child as the one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It tries to develop children in many areas, physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively.
The most important elements of the Montessori method:
- Freedom of movement and choice for students (children circulated freely in the classroom, choosing the activities that interested them).
- Assessment is based on student-developed portfolios and teachers’ observational data.
- Montessori education is student-led and self-paced but guided by knowledgeable and caring teachers.
- Classrooms are mixed-age, designed to create natural opportunities for independence, citizenship, and accountability.
- Uninterrupted blocks of work time.
- The use of the discovery model, where the child acquires knowledge while working with materials.
- Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators often made out of natural, aesthetic materials such as wood.
Montessori used materials designed to appeal to the senses, created learning games and activities, and developed strategies for teachers to guide children in learning. Since so much good can be obtained after introducing elements of the Montessori method, why not have a part in it?