In selecting the right Montessori school for your child, you must consider how it meets your expectations, as well as how it suits your child. The only way to make this choice effective is to carefully research and then observe the school in action.
Here are some essential Montessori school characteristics …
The Montessori “prepared environment” – The Classroom
The Montessori classroom is designed specifically to meet the needs, interests, abilities and development of each child in the class. The focus is on children learning and not teachers teaching.
In the prepared Montessori environment, Education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the individual through experiences upon that environment. Children work at their own pace and out of their own interest. Children are guided by the assistance of a teacher. There is no imposed competition. Work” is purposeful, self-chosen activity. Caring and respect for others is fostered through a focus on what is shared by all humans.
Montessori equipment – Active learning
It is natural for children to move, touch and explore the world around them. The Montessori environment encourages children to move around freely and select work that captures their interest and attention. Through careful observation the teacher would strive to introduce work to further develop this area of interest or to draw their attention to new challenges and interests.
Direct personal, hands-on use of real things or concrete models bring abstract concepts to life and allow children to learn with much deeper understanding. A large range of purpose designed Montessori materials should be available in all subject areas.
Co-operation not Competition
Montessori students are free from one-up-man-ship and needless competition for attention and prestige, because each child learns at their own pace and the teachers refrain from comparing students against one another through testing, examinations and the like.
Montessori students are encouraged to treat one another with kindness and respect. Insulting and bullying behavior tends to be rare. Instead we find children have a great understanding and fondness of each other.
Dr. Montessori saw children as far more than simply scholars. Along with the rest of humanity, even the youngest child shares hopes, dreams, fears and the need to belong. From her perspective, this goes far beyond knowledge and mental health to the very core of ones spiritual existence.
Montessori consciously designed social communities and educational experiences that cultivate the child’s sense of independence, self respect, love of peace, passion for self chosen work and the ability to celebrate the individual spirit of people of all races and ages. The value of all life.
The ultimate aim of all Montessori education is to promote world peace through fully developed people imbued with respect for all life.
Montessori trained teachers
World-wide a number of accredited Montessori training institutions operate recognized training courses for Montessori teachers. Generally teachers will undertake a one year full-time (or equivalent part-time) diploma course, which qualifies them to work with children in one of the following age groups: 0 – 3 years, 3 – 6 years, 6 – 12 years.