“Montessori is a philosophy that says, whether we’re working with the unborn, the newborn, the young child, school-age child, the teenager or the college student, there is a way to focus the program around the real needs – emotional, intellectual, neuromuscular – of humans without prejudice or bias. As you look at Montessori, you will see a profound respect for children as real human beings; a belief that learning is innate, inborn and natural; that children are curious and creative; and that intelligence is anything but uncommon among human beings!”
What is Montessori – The Montessori Foundation.
Education of character is considered equally with academic education. Children learn to take care of themselves, their environment and each other. They participate in cooking, cleaning, building, gardening, moving gracefully, speaking politely, being considerate and helpful and doing service for the community.
The environment is arranged according to subject areas, and children are always free to move around the room instead of sitting at desks. There is no limit to how long a child can work with a piece of material. At any one time in a day all subjects – math, language, science, geography, art, music, etc…will be being studied at all levels.
The Montessori materials teach specific things and then the creativity is incredible. Like learning to handle a good violin and then playing music. It is not considered “creative” to use a violin as a hammer or a bridge when playing with blocks. We consider it “creative” to learn how to use the violin properly and then create music. The same goes for the materials in a Montessori classroom.
The children in a Montessori setting interact as much as they feel the need to. The tasks are so satisfying, that for these few hours a day, children want to master the challenges offered by them. They then become happier and kinder – true socialization. Also, since concentration is protected above all, as all “work” is respected, children learn early on not to interrupt someone who is concentrating.
Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning and adapting to new situations.