The History of Montessori Method

The History of Montessori Method - Playgarden Online
BY Miss Charlotte July 04, 2022

The Montessori teaching model was first developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. Montessori was an Italian physician and educator who created a model of education that promoted independence and choice.

The Montessori method creates a system where the students are put at the forefront and allowed to make choices to lead their day-to-day experience in the classroom. When a lesson is not being actively taught, students will often have the opportunity to explore different stations set up throughout the classroom with different “materials” for them to “work” with. Teachers take a slightly different approach to interact with their students as well, often moving from group to group instead of staying in front of all the students for the entire duration of the day.

Montessori characteristics

There are five crucial principles for the Montessori model of education, which apply to both in-person and online Montessori preschool classes alike. They are as follows:

1. Children are shown respect

By treating children with the same level of respect that they should be showing other adults in their life, children are given a sense of agency when it comes to expressing interests and learning what they want to learn. While some structure is necessary (this is still school, after all!) a certain amount of freedom can allow them to develop a personalized love of learning.

2. Children have absorbent minds

The first six years of a child’s life are crucial when it comes to development. This is when personalities begin to develop and a sense of the world begins to form. By recognizing this, the Montessori method allows for students to express curiosity and explore in a way that enhances their minds during critical years of learning.

3. Children have sensitive periods for learning

A “sensitive period” refers to a period of time when a child is most ready to learn essential skills such as language, socialization, emotional learning, sensory, and movement. By identifying when a student is going through a sensitive period and is, therefore, the most open to focusing and learning, teachers can maximize a student’s ability to receive and grow with new information.

4. Children learn best in a prepared environment

Montessori classrooms are specifically designed to optimize learning. Stations for different materials and work will be set up and well-stocked. The room will not be too colorful or overstimulating. It will be easy to move around and do different things throughout the day. While this applies to in-person classrooms, finding ways to mimic this for students participating in virtual Montessori preschool can yield the same effects. Try finding a neutral part of your home that is not too overwhelming, and create stations for your child to explore within!

5. Children can perform auto education

Auto education is a term used to refer to children independently learning new information. By encouraging students to branch out and try new things within the classroom, teachers can encourage independence amongst their students and allow them to learn via a hands-on approach rather than being taught information broadly and expected to retain it.

How is this different from traditional schooling?

In traditional schooling, there is a stricter schedule when it comes to lessons being taught, whereas Montessori programs, both in-person and online – create a more general approach to when and how students learn. Students are also given more personalized and intimate relationships with their teachers, allowing teachers to better understand how their students best learn. In-person and online Montessori environments are also quieter and less overwhelming in terms of the setup of rooms.

Now that we have an understanding of what a Montessori education is, both for in-person and virtual Montessori preschool, we will explore the pros and cons of this model in part two.

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Miss Charlotte Pencil

Hi, I'm Miss Charlotte!

Miss Charlotte is an Education Director by trade, and a mom by heart. All 200+ of our DIY projects were created by Miss Charlotte, with the help of her expert DIY assistant—Her 4 year old daughter! With a MST degree in Early Childhood Education and 15 years of teaching experience, her blogs and DIY projects have been an incredible resource for our Playgarden Prep schools. We hope that your family loves them as much as we do!

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