In order to fully appreciate the Montessori method it is important to first understand the origin of Montessori education. Montessori education is a teaching method defined by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development. Montessori education dates back to 1907 when it was first implemented by Italian physician, Maria Montessori. Maria Montessori first opened up the Casa de Bambini or “Children’s House” in Rome, Italy. Her unique teaching method intrigqued educators all over the world and eventually her philosophy spread to every continent except Antarctica.
Listed below are the essential elements that define a Montessori Education:
- Mixed age classrooms
- Student choice of activity from within a given range of options
- Uninterrupted blocks of work time
- Students engage in hands on learning
- Freedom of movement within the classroom
- Individuality and creativity are encouraged
- A trained Montessori teacher
Extending the Montessori Method
Educating young children was the focus of Dr. Montessori’s early research, but in the 1920s she turned her attention to adolescence. Dr. Montessori observed that students need activities that help them to understand themselves in order to successfully find their place in the world.
Dr. Montessori proposed residential schools where students could work and live in a trusting community. In these schools they could participate in real-world activities such as farming or marketing their own handmade goods. By experiencing human interdependence, Dr. Montessori believed her students would learn how society is organized and develop the skills necessary to meet the world’s challenges in a positive way. Today, many Montessori schools serving adolescents provide real-life opportunities such as those suggested by Dr. Montessori, although relatively few in the U.S. are residential schools.
If you are interested in a Montessori school in the Atlanta area, have a look at our website. Here at Milton Montessori School, we offer children in the Alpharetta area the authentic Montessori experience. Contact us at Milton Montessori School today.