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What is Montessori?

"We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being." – Maria Montessori


Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 20th century, the Montessori Method is a child-centered educational approach designed to foster critical thinking and collaborative work within a hands-on learning environment. 

Montessori schools begin with a deep respect for children as unique individuals, with particular concern for children's social and emotional development. A core concept of Montessori education is to encourage children to become independent thinkers.

Montessori education is based on these concepts:

  • The aim of Montessori education is to foster autonomous, competent, responsible and adaptive citizens who are lifelong learners and problem-solvers.
  • Learning occurs in an inquisitive, cooperative and nurturing atmosphere. Students increase their own knowledge through self- and teacher-initiated experiences.
  • Learning takes place through the senses. Students learn through manipulating materials and interacting with others. These meaningful experiences are precursors to the abstract understanding of ideas.
  • The individual is considered as a whole. The physical, emotional, social, aesthetic and cognitive needs and interests are inseparable and equally important.
  • Respect for oneself, others, the environment and life is necessary to develop a caring attitude toward all people.
     

Learn more about Montessori education from the American Montessori Society.