Updated: Sep 15, 2020
The word Montessori is a term coined by Italian physician Dr. Maria Montessori over a century ago. It is an educational philosophy and method based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaboration. In short, this methodology focuses on child-led education that encourages the child to create their study based on their interests while the teacher guides their learning. To date, there are over 22K Montessori schools worldwide.
So why all the hype? Through research, listening, and learning from Montessori educators, this method of learning helps to develop the whole child. Children can collaborate in mixed-aged classrooms, this allows young children to learn from older children, and older children can teach smaller children things they know. Developing leadership and collaboration skills in adolescence will help in adulthood. Next, children learn by being hands-on. For example, children learn by doing; a child can learn to spell by using alphabet blocks and putting words together to form words and sentences. A common misconception of this method is the lack of structure since the child is empowered to create their learning. Children in Montessori schools are given freedom within limits. There are still teachers in the classrooms; they observe, guide, supervise, and assess children as they learn.
There are a plethora of different resources with even more information. We are still learning and incorporating some of the Montessori principles in our home with our toddler. Want to know more? Visit the resources linked below for more details!