Want to learn more about the Montessori philosophy? Read on:
What are the defining characteristics of a Montessori classroom?
The Montessori method is most associated with very specific materials developed by Maria Montessori. These materials are designed to help children move from the concrete to the abstract and are self-correcting (meaning when a piece does not fit or is left over, the child can easily see it and make a correction without redirection from a teacher). The classroom is divided into four distinct areas: Language and Reading, Math, Practical Life, and Sensorial.
What is different about how Montessori teachers approach their work?
The Montessori method is very child-directed and relies on teachers to be active observers of the classroom. A Montessori teacher will typically not disturb a child at work, but rather will observe their progress and at a later time engage with that child to support their development.
- Child-directed learning, teacher as “guide”
- Very little direct instruction
- Mixed-age classrooms
- A child’s work is play
- Long periods of uninterrupted play
- A Montessori-certified teacher essentially has a Masters degree
- A Montessori-inspired program will include some or all of the above elements