A: The Montessori method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first female doctor in Italy, whose life’s work was focused on the development and education of children. The Montessori environment is designed to stimulate a child’s interest in education. The children work with various materials designed to teach them mathematics, language, cultural studies, science, geography, practical life skills, stimulate sensorial development, and increase their motor skills. While working with the materials the children learn to become independent problem-solvers. The children interact with one another often and this teaches them to garner respect for others, themselves, and the environment they live in.
Q: What is the difference between day care and a Montessori School?
A: A traditional day care is only oriented towards childcare. Day cares do not focus on education and are not designed to deliver education, while one of the main purposes of Montessori schools is to provide education. Traditional schooling occurs in a controlled environment that stifles a child’s desire to learn. Montessori schools allow for independence and give children the freedom to explore their surroundings as well as learn at their own pace.
Q: What is the role of the Montessori Teacher?
A: The role of the Montessori teacher is to provide guidance and aid when necessary to help each child reach their potential. The teacher works with the children in small groups and individually. The teacher gives presentations of the materials, teaches the children concepts, and provides help should the children need it. All of the children receive quality time learning with their teacher.
Q: How does the concept of freedom work in a Montessori classroom?
A: The children have freedom, but it is a limited freedom. They cannot do whatever they would like to because there are boundaries. There are goals and rules in the classroom that the children follow. We take the time to teach all of the children the goals and rules of the classroom when they first attend school.
Q: How do Montessori children transition to traditional elementary school?
A: Children in a Montessori environment are flexible and adjust well to the traditional classroom. The skills they learn in Montessori school put them ahead of their classmates both academically and socially. Generally, Montessori children spend their time in productive ways because of their self-direction skills and positive attitude toward learning. Montessori children are very good at adapting because they have learned to work on their own without constant supervision.