Key Elements Of The Montessori Method
- Self-Education ~ Children have an innate curiosity about the world they inhabit. Modern Montessori methods encourage them to explore this world in a carefully-prepared learning environment that responds to their need to learn and grow by exposing them to materials and experiences that stimulate intelligence and promote physical and psychological development.
- Individual Instruction ~ Almost all instruction at a Montessori school takes place on a one-on-one basis. This allows the directress to become familiar with and nurture the unique characteristics of each child. Individual didactic materials are always provided during group lessons to allow children to learn at their own pace. Lessons are short, concise, and direct and aimed at enhancing the child's self-worth.
- Didactic Materials ~ Modern Montessori relies on specially designed didactic apparatus for every period of childhood development, beginning with simple learning tools for toddlers and then gradually moving on to more complex materials. Each piece or set of equipment is designed to provide the child with a clear cut experience and then gradually lead to more complicated tasks
- A Specially Prepared Environment ~ At Modern Montessori schools the child is guided to make free and intelligent choices. All learning materials are placed within the child's reach and the general classroom environment is bright and comprised of living things such as plants and pets, which the child learns to care for. The Montessori Method groups children vertically into three-year-cycle age-groups: two-and-a-half to six years old; six to nine years old; and nine to twelve years old. This family-type structure encourages younger children to learn from older ones, and encourages the older children to be role models for their younger counterparts. It also creates a pervasive context of security, as learners remain under the care of one directress for a longer period of time.
- The Teacher as a Trained Directress ~ Since the emphasis is on learning rather than teaching, the directress plays an enabling role. As such, she prepares and maintains the classroom to ensure that everything needed is within the children's reach. She is consistently available to respond to the needs of her learners and serves as a positive and inspiring role model who guides them towards self-study, independence, and self-confidence.