The Montessori Pedagogical Method
- Integrates academic, emotional and social aspects.
- It gives precedence to the development of each child’s potential, impacting upon the quality of life of the educational community.
- It covers and expands on all of the requirements of the official curricula, both the British Council’s one and that of the Consellería d’Educació Valenciana.
- It opens up opportunities for participation and involvement on the part of the children based on their interests, which is why we explicitly foster the self-management of projects.
- It enhances personal growth through direct contact with nature.
- It adapts to the individual educational needs of each and every child.
- It respects each stage of the child’s development and pace of learning.
The areas in the Montessori classroom
- Visual training
- Tactile training (touch)
- Olfactory training (smell)
- Gustatory training (taste)
- Auditory training (hearing)
- Stereognostic training (movement combined with touch)
- Taking care of oneself
- Caring for the environment
- Grace and courtesy
- Control of movement
- Acquiring concentration
- Personal independence
- Word cards (vocabulary)
- Grammar (mechanisms)
- Word study (use)
- Sentence analysis (structure)
- Counting (quantity and symbol)
- Decimal system
- Concrete abstraction
- Geometry (forms and planes)
- Art and music
MYTH AND FACTS ABOUT MONTESSORI
MYTH # 1
Montessori is a religion.
Many people think Montessori has religious roots.
Montessori is a complex educational approach developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian doctor, anthropologist and pedagogue. Montessori education is a comprehensive and continuous response to the vital exigencies of the human being, adapted to each stage of development. Montessori corresponds with most recent scientific findings on human brain.
MYTH # 2
Montessori is expensive and you can find it only in private school
Montessori is associated with wealth and a private school education, because most Montessori schools are private.
In recent years, tuition-free Montessori schools are growing in communities across the world. There are many initiatives endeavouring to spread Montessori in the public sector and bring it to under-privileged communities. Montessori is offered in private schools more frequently than in public schools because private schools are more likely to offer different educational approaches which parents look for.
MYTH # 3
In Montessori classrooms children do what they want
Some seem to think that all Montessori children do is wander around choosing not to do anything. Or that in Montessori schools children only play with nice toys and they do not learn
Science proves that play is the work of the child. The child discovers the world through own exploration and interaction with the environment. Being able to choose own work is one of the key elements of Montessori. Freedom of choice maximizes learning experiences of the child in the environment. It allows for learning which is inner motivated. And inner motivation is key to success.
MYTH # 4
Montessori classrooms are chaotic
Montessori classrooms may seem chaotic because of the many activities that can happen simultaneously.
Montessori recognises and acknowledges the child’s internal need for order and establishes a calm, orderly environment where the child can expect to find things in their proper place and in their proper order. It is here in this ordered world where children feel safe and secure and their brain can focus on the learning experience.
MYTH # 5
Montessori is just “a trend”
It may seem that nowadays Montessori is “modern” or that it is “a buzz” education and that is why parents choose it for their children
Montessori was first introduced in 1907 and has been spreading since then all over the world. There are more than 30,000 Montessori schools worldwide. Not many people realise this, but Montessori is the single largest and widest spread pedagogy in the world.
MYTH # 6
Montessori children will not be able to transition to “normal” schools
Montessori offers a very loving and respectful environment and real world is not like that. Montessori children will not be able to transfer successfully to a “real” school.
In Montessori classrooms children make important decisions every day. They interact in a natural social group. They cooperate with each other. They internalise order. Montessori children very easily adapt to any change. The grace and courtesy lessons that they are taught help them to easily adjust to meeting new people. They easily ask questions and orientate themselves in a new environment
MYTH # 7
Montessori is only for gifted children or on the contrary, Montessori is for disabled
Some say that Montessori schools have the same characteristics as gifted education. Others say that Maria Montessori devised her method of education while working with mentally and physically challenged children.
Montessori schools were created with the intent that all children can and love to learn. Montessori schooling helps each child develop their own individuality in a way that puts emphasis on their inborn intelligence and what they’re good at. Montessori gives each child a chance to learn at their own pace and experience success. Visit a Montessori school and you will see that the method works with all children alike!
MYTH # 8
Montessori works well only on the preschool level
Montessori is fine for children in preschools but when it becomes more serious and it is time for elementary, it is better to place a child in “a normal school “
Although Maria Montessori began her practice working with children from three to seven years old, the Montessori classroom has expanded to reach Montessori students of all ages including the high school years. Montessori education for all age levels is based in the profound knowledge of human development and the needs and tendencies of human beings in each stage. That is why Montessori works so well. The amount of Montessori elementary and high schools is growing rapidly and data shows that children graduating from these schools do very well.
MYTH # 9
Montessori curriculum is not rigorous enough
Some people argue that Montessori children do not know enough content.
The Montessori curriculum is presented in a crosscurricular approach so children are often learning more than one content area at a time on a deeper level. Research projects allow for further exploration of a topic and allow the child to follow their interests as well. Education systems all over the world step away from teaching separate subjects and from teaching children more content. The way science describes education for the 21st century sounds very familiar to Montessori ears.
MYTH # 10
Modern technologies are prohibited in Montessori classrooms
Many people think that Montessori condemns modern technologies, such as phones, computers and ipads, as being too abstract, commercial and so on.
Digital devices are considered “materials” when they fully conform to Montessori philosophy and practice and when they are used in Elementary classrooms. At this age level, we treat digital devices as potential tools for self-construction. We refrain from introducing them until sensorial avenues have been explored by the children, and exhausted.