- What is the Montessori Method of Education?
- Who started the Montessori Method?
- What is in a Montessori classroom?
- What is the role of the Montessori teacher?
- Do children socialize and do group work as well as independent development activities?
- Is parent involvement encouraged?
The Montessori method is an approach to learning that stimulates the child’s interests and facilitates his/her understanding and learning capacities. The Montessori approach is developmental whereby children are challenged, but not frustrated, by the presentation of appropriate learning experiences.
Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first woman medical doctor, used her scientific background to observe children. Based on her observations, she developed unique materials, a child-centered environment, and a philosophy that stressed respect for the child, freedom of expression, self-education, and training through the use of movement and senses.
The Montessori classroom is a carefully prepared environment; it is a child-sized world. A Montessori classroom has carefully selected materials that allow a child to move from simple activities to more complex ones. Through this process, the child’s natural curiosity is satisfied and he/she begins to experience the joy of discovering the world around him. Materials and curriculum center around Practical Life, Sensorial, Language Arts, Mathematics, and Cultural Subjects, including Geography, Spanish, and Science.
The materials are experiential; the children work with them, using all of their senses to learn and discover. For example, in Language, a child might use sandpaper letters, sort objects according to the beginning sound, use the movable alphabet to spell a word, trace an object to learn pencil control, or write the word. The children experience and discover the concept through sight, sound and touch.
The Montessori teacher facilitates the classroom activity. She carefully plans the environment in the interests of the children, and she helps the children progress from one activity to another. The teacher is trained to deal with each child individually and encourages a child to work independently.
Yes, socialization is very much a part of the Montessori method. In the classroom, children interact giving encouragement, modeling cooperative learning, and working on projects together. Each day, the children have circle time, outdoor playtime, and an enrichment activity as a group.
We encourage parent involvement through observations, conferences, discussions, parent education nights, and periodic progress reports. The staff feels that the more parents understand the experiences of the child in the classroom, the better able they are to continue the learning process at home. RMS also offers a variety of volunteer opportunities such as being a room parent, helping with school celebrations and assisting with fund raising events such as the Scholastic Book Fair.