LEARN MORE ABOUT MONTESSORI
A Montessori classroom is a place of discovery that invites children to engage in specially-designed learning activities of their own individual choice. Under the guidance of a trained teacher, children in a Montessori classroom learn by making discoveries with the materials, cultivating independence, concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. We hope that the information in this section will help you discover a little more about the Montessori philosophy and about Montessori Community School.
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THE MONTESSORI PHILOSOPHY
Montessori is a philosophy and method of education for children from birth through age 18. It is based upon principles developed by Dr. Maria Montessori's scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child -- physical, social, emotional, and cognitive.
The method is the development of materials, educational techniques, and observations which support the natural development of children. The teacher in a Montessori classroom serves less as an “instructor” and more as a guide and facilitator. Children are encouraged to “learn how to learn” thus gaining independence and self-confidence. Because the method is based upon developmentally appropriate activities, the child often learns through the process of education-by-doing.
The Montessori school is designed to accommodate various stages of development in children which occur in roughly 3-year cycles, and as such, Montessori classrooms are organized into 3-year age groupings. This allows a greater flexibility in meeting each child’s individual needs and permits the child to develop with fewer social transitions. The environment becomes the “teacher,” with the child as the initiator of his/her own education. The teacher then becomes the link between the environment and the child.
Today, Montessori schools are found worldwide, serving children from birth through adolescence. In the United States, there are more than 4,000 private Montessori schools and more than 200 public schools with Montessori-styled programs.
--Excerpts from the American Montessori Society (AMS) website
MONTESSORI AGES & STAGES
Birth to 3 Years of Age
The child is absorbing directly from the environment, almost as a sponge. It is during this phase that many language and motor skills are acquired without formal instruction.
3 to 6 Years of Age
The child reaches a different stage in which repetition and manipulation of the environment are critical to the development of concentration, coordination, independence, and a sense of order. The child learns skills for everyday living by sorting, grading, classifying — all of which lead to the development of writing, reading, and a mathematical mind.
6 to 9 Years of Age
When the child reaches the next phase of development, the imagination of the child is the key to learning. At this age there is an increasing awareness of the world and an interest in its wonders. The classroom can now excite the child by using this increased imagination to explore the universe. During this phase the child is presented with ”the big picture,” an overview of the interrelatedness of things. The curriculum works from the large concept to the more specific. Concepts are introduced through hands-on materials which encourage and engage the child and assist in an understanding of concepts before they are committed to memory.
9 to 12 Years of Age
As the child enters the next phase, the world is an ever-expanding place. The horizons of the imagination increase and concepts may be presented and abstracted with fewer manipulative materials. The students' hands-on activities broaden in scope and include practical application outside the classroom. Projects become more involved and diverse in nature.