Children are free to work at their own pace with materials they have chosen, either alone or with others. The teacher relies on her/his observations of the children to determine which new activities and materials she may introduce to an individual child or to a small or large group. The aim is to encourage active, self-directed learning and to strike a balance of individual mastery with small group collaboration within the whole group community.
Below, explore the answers to these questions:
Since Montessori is a word in the public domain, it is possible for any individual or institution to claim to be Montessori. But an authentic Montessori classroom must have these basic characteristics:
Dr. Maria Montessori, the creator of the Montessori Method of Education, based the techniques on her scientific observations of young children’s behavior. As the first woman physician to graduate from the University of Rome, Montessori became involved with education as a doctor treating children labeled as retarded. Then in 1907 she was invited to open a child care center for the children of desperately poor families in the San Lorenzo slums of Rome.
She called it a “Children’s House,” and based the program on her observations that young children learn best in a homelike setting, filled with developmentally appropriate materials that provide experiences contributing to the growth of self-motivated, independent learners.
She carried her message throughout the world, including the United States as early as 1912. After an enthusiastic first response, interest in the US waned until a reintroduction of the method in the mid-1950’s, followed by the organization of the American Montessori Society in 1960.