Maria Montessori discovered that first six years of human’s life is the most important years for the development of the child. Observing children and making research she created an educational method, which is still actual in our modern world. Progressive neuropsychologists consider Montessori method to be the most comfortable and efficient for the development of human brain and psychic.
There are several outstanding characteristics of Montessori method:
- Montessori approach to the children can be described in one word-respect. Montessori teacher guides a child, not direct. Children are taught how to make their own choices and to make the things by themselves. Teacher encourages child’s independence by given them choices of special activities. Montessori teachers aid the children in developing discipline by providing them with opportunities for constructive activities and obtaining a freedom in the prepared environment.
- Prepared environment. Montessori classes are places where children can do things by themselves. It’s possible because all activities are available to children, they can explore a wide range of meaningful and attractive materials for their own choice. Specifically designed Montessori materials and professional Montessori teachers are helping young students to develop their independence, concentration, self-awareness, self-control and self-confidence. Montessori environment has a lot of movement and activities. Aesthetic beauty of the classroom, order, psychological atmosphere are part of Montessori prepared environment too.
“The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences.” M. Montessori.
Curriculum of hands-on materials support young student to explore and to get their experience in various areas (math, language, practical life, culture, sensorial, art). Children learn through hands-on very effectively. This is confirmed by all progressive researches.
- Matching the environment to the child’s sensitive periods is an important aspect of Montessori classrooms. In other pedagogies these periods are often called “windows of opportunities”. It is explaining as periods of time when a child concentrates mainly in particular aspects of his development. For example, sensitive period of language is from the birth to 6 years old.
- Mixed age group (for example, ages 3-6) is one of the element aiding development of social life in Montessori classroom. Older children are learning to explain some topics to younger students; it gives them feeling of responsibility and helpfulness as well as better understanding what they already knew. Younger children are provided with inspiration and example from older friends.
- Child and his individuality are in the center of learning process. Montessori teacher is giving lessons or presentations individually or in small groups to pay necessary time and attention to each child. Young students can work with their materials without interruption and have enough time for exploration.
All this elements of Montessori method support child’s natural love of learning and exploration during all their future life, they are growing to happy and successful adults.
There are a lot of well-known Montessori graduates, such as: Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder); Sergey Brin & Larry Page (Google founders); Jimmy Wales (best known as the co-founder and promoter of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia and the for-profit Wikia web hosting company); George Clooney (Academy award-winning actor, director, producer, humanitarian, United nations messenger of peace); Peter Drucker (Author, Management consultant, “social ecologist”, awarded the presidential medal of freedom, one of the most influential management gurus in history); Helen Hunt (Academy award-winning actor); Will Wright (Video game pioneer, creator of the Sims).