For a list of Montessori schools, see List of Montessori schools. The Montessori Method of education, developed by Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth the approaches of the methodology of pedagogy in preschool education adulthood. Montessori’s Method has been used for over 100 years in many parts of the world.
The Montessori method views the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It attempts to develop children physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. 18 year-old classrooms exist as well. Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options. Uninterrupted blocks of work time, ideally three hours. A constructivist or “discovery” model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction. Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators often made out of natural, aesthetic materials such as wood, rather than plastic.
A thoughtfully prepared environment where materials are organized by subject area, within reach of the child, and are appropriate in size. Freedom of movement within the classroom. A trained Montessori teacher who follows the child and is highly experienced in observing the individual child’s characteristics, tendencies, innate talents and abilities. Following her medical training, Maria Montessori began to develop her educational philosophy and methods in 1897, attending courses in pedagogy at the University of Rome and reading the educational theory of the previous two hundred years. In 1907, she opened her first classroom, the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House, in a tenement building in Rome. From the beginning, Montessori based her work on her observations of children and experimentation with the environment, materials, and lessons available to them. She frequently referred to her work as “scientific pedagogy”.