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Montessori Basics

What is it?

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The Montessori method has been around for over 100 years. It is very popular in many countries within North America, Europe and Asia and is growing in popularity within Australia. This is because when implemented by people who understand the method, it creates a community of happy, interested learners. Furthermore, the approaches used in the Montessori method are now being validated by researchers and are becoming 'best practice' in general education.

The Montessori Curriculum

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Montessori classrooms use a curriculum that has been cleverly constructed and tried and tested with children all over the world over time. Its benefits include that it is:

  • Developmentally appropriate and holistic

  • Child-led and individualised, with plenty of time for one-on-one learning

  • Logical in its timing and sequence

  • Interesting and engaging

Montessori Materials

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The materials used in a Montessori classroom:

  • Are 'concrete materials'; tangible objects that typically appeal to several senses as they can be touched, moved, arranged, compared and otherwise investigated, giving a ‘sensorial experience firmly rooted in reality’

  • Have a developmental focus; are designed to teach specific skills and concepts. 

  • Build upon each other.

  • Where possible, use an internal control of error so that children can self-assess and self-correct.

The Montessori Environment

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In the Montessori classroom, the environment is considered a teacher of the children in itself. For this reason, the Montessori teacher will invest a lot of time and energy into painstakingly preparing and adapting the environment so that the environment is continually responding to the needs and interests of the children in the classroom.

  • PREPARED for the children

  • Beautiful

  • Ordered

  • Not over-stimulating

Montessori Children

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The children in a Montessori classroom are given opportunities to develop:

  • Their own interests

  • Freedom of choice

  • Independence and Agency

  • Concentration

  • Respect for others and their environment

  • Responsibility

  • A sense of ownership over their learning

  • Their own personality :)

A Montessori classroom is multi-age, with students spanning a three-year age range. This helps children learn from each other and develop into leaders and role-models.

Montessori Teachers

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Montessori teachers are:

  • Respectful, patient and trusting in the child.

  • Observant and adaptive to the children in their classroom.

  • Do not use extrinsic rewards to motivate learning as they want children to become intrinsically motivated.

  • Focused on the process of learning, rather than the outcome.

  • Aware of the developmental strengths and trajectories of each child through close monitoring of each child. 

Some Videos - About Montessori

Videos - Inside Montessori Classrooms