The Montessori Method is an educational system developed by Maria Montessori designed to aid children in the development of intelligence and independence. Thousands of schools throughout the world use what is called the Montessori Method.

Montessori educators/teachers establish special environments to meet the needs of students. Students are broken down into three distinct age groups. Infancy to 2 1/2 years, 2 1/2 years to 6 1/2 years and 6 1/2 years through 12 years. The students learn through activities that involve exploration, manipulation, order, repetition, abstraction and communication.

It is the Montessori's belief that children from infancy through the age of six develop mentally through their senses. Subsequently, the educators/teachers encourage students in the first two age groups to use their senses of touch, sight, hearing smell and taste to explore and manipulate materials in their immediate environment. Children ages 6 through 12 can deal with abstract concepts based on their developed powers of reasoning, imagination, and creativity. They will also often combine both groups to work with one another in order to promote interactions. The groups are then asked to report on the interactions both orally (for the younger group) and in writing.

The Association of Montessori Internationale sets international standards for the education of Montessori teachers and teacher trainers and for the Montessori schools. In the U.S, the American Montessori Society also trains teachers and certifies schools.

Personal Observation

My daughter, age 6, has been going to Montessori for approximately three years and is thriving in that environment. She has been exposed to such things as Spanish, French, sign language, Algebra, and Impressionism Art among others. While admittedly, the Montessori Method is not for all children - I am needless to say quite impressed and a staunch supporter of what the Montessori Method espouses.

Mon`tes*so"ri Meth"od (?). (Pedagogy)

A system of training and instruction, primarily for use with normal children aged from three to six years, devised by Dr. Maria Montessori while teaching in the "Houses of Childhood" (schools in the poorest tenement districts of Rome, Italy), and first fully described by her in 1909. Leading features are freedom for physical activity (no stationary desks and chairs), informal and individual instruction, the very early development of writing, and an extended sensory and motor training (with special emphasis on vision, touch, perception of movement, and their interconnections), mediated by a patented, standardized system of "didactic apparatus," which is declared to be "auto-regulative." Most of the chief features of the method are borrowed from current methods used in many institutions for training feeble-minded children, and dating back especially to the work of the French-American physician Edouard O. Seguin (1812-80).


© Webster 1913

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