A Peek Inside a Montessori Classroom

Montessori has been around for over a hundred years. Created by Dr. Maria Montessori, it is a method of education which focuses on the child as an individual. It is based on the cognitive, behavioral, social, physical and emotional development of the child. A Montessori classroom exists for the development of the child at his/her own pace; it is child-centered learning at its best.

As a baby explores his environment, he touches, tastes, sees, hears and smells all that is around him. This sensorial approach to learning is also quite evident in the Montessori classroom as children are encouraged to explore with teaching materials - manipulating them - to obtain a full understanding of the lesson being taught. Montessori answers all those 'why' questions. It gives the answer to 'why?' before the question needs to be asked.

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Children are admitted to a Montessori school throughout the school year. The new children coming into the environment are given the benefit of learning from the children who have already settled into the classroom. Similarly, with the age groupings, the older children act as mentors and they not only pass on their experiences, but also learn how to be gentle and considerate of the younger children. In such a way, the children are not dependant on their teachers. They are allowed and encouraged to problem-solve amongst themselves.

In a Montessori classroom, the children are given skills to succeed in this adult world. They are shown how to use everyday items in order to complete necessary tasks independently. The children are allowed adequate time to master these tasks and commended for their courage in attempting to do so. Children often execute activities not for the end result, as adults often do, but for the sheer joy of seeing the process unfold.

A Montessori classroom is a social setting. The children choose to either work independently or with their peers. They find a harmonious balance between social and academic pursuits. With this harmony, a Montessori classroom is a place perfectly suited to academic learning. The childrens' senses are refined and they develop a sense of peace in working hard and achieving success.

As you search for appropriate schooling for your children, remember to visit your local Montessori schools.

It's not an alternative to mainstream education; it is what mainstream education should be.

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