What Is Montessori?

Montessori education is both a philosophy of child growth and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on a child’s developmental needs for freedom within limits, and a carefully prepared environment that guarantees exposure to materials and experiences through which to develop intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. Begun in Italy by Dr. Maria Montessori, Montessori education was introduced into the United States in 1912, with one of the early schools established by Alexander Graham Bell in his own home. Montessori education has enjoyed a resurgence of interest in recent years reflecting growing recognition of the validity of its approach.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Maria Montessori

What is the Montessori Method?

    An educational approach that emphasizes the potential of the young child, and attempts to develop this potential by means of a prepared environment, utilizing specially trained teachers and special materials.

Why did Dr. Maria Montessori develop this special method?

    She was distressed with the usual rigid techniques used in Europe. Feeling that the young child had more potential than educators realized, she began to develop this potential by a sensorial approach. Teaching the child through her natural interest in exploring the world through her senses.

What is the Montessori concept of freedom?

    Freedom is a prerequisite condition for learning. Freedom is a goal not a starting point. A freed child or adult is one who has developed his potential and prefers to work out problems for him/herself, but is capable of asking for and receiving direction when necessary. An undisciplined and unskilled child is not free, but a slave to his immediate desires and is excessively dependent on others. The free child of course grows into the free adult.

What is the Montessori concept of discipline?

    Discipline is the second prerequisite condition for learning. Montessori discipline is an “inner discipline,” an inner control the child develops over her own behavior by working with Montessori materials. Dr. Montessori noted that many so-called undisciplined children were very frustrated due to the lack of proper stimulation and inadequate opportunity to achieve. She noted that they became happier and self-controlled after a period of time in a Montessori class.

Montessori Links

AMI – (Association Montessori International)

AMS – (American Montessori Society)

The Montessori Foundation

The Montessori Method – (Dr. Montessori’s bookonline)