Environment & Benefits

In a Montessori classroom there is a special atmosphere of cheerful order, calm and purposeful work.  It is not only a place for individual learning, but also a vibrant community of children, where the child learns to interact in many ways.  It is an environment that maintains a balance between the need of each individual for sufficient freedom to grow and develop towards independence, and the necessity for order and harmony within the group.

 

What's Different About The Montessori Environment ?

In a Montessori classroom there is a special atmosphere of cheerful order, calm and purposeful work.  It is not only a place for individual learning, but also a vibrant community of children, where the child learns to interact in many ways.  It is an environment that maintains a balance between the need of each individual for sufficient freedom to grow and develop towards independence, and the necessity for order and harmony within the group.

In this way a Montessori classroom is a microcosm of society.

The three-year age grouping that typifies a Montessori environment further supports the growing child's social development.  Older children will teach the younger and learn much themselves, while the younger children are inspired to further activities through observing the older ones.  With such varied levels of development within the classroom, children can work at their own pace, unhindered by competition and encouraged by cooperation.

This prepared environment provides the children with materials and activities suited to the child's intellectual, emotional, physical and social needs at each stage of development.  The Directress introduces the children to these materials in a logical sequence.

These attractive materials:

  • Invite exploration through ease of handling.
  • Challenge and self-correct, allowing for unlimited repetition.
  • Help the child to acquire precise vocabulary.
  • Focus on a single concept at a time.
  • Can be used for both simple and complex tasks

The Montessori classroom is physically and psychologically designed to meet the developmental needs of the child.  Dr. Montessori felt that the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a preselected course of study but rather to cultivate their own natural desire to learn.

In the Montessori classroom this objective is approached in two ways: first, by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by their own choice rather than by being forced; and second, by helping them to perfect all their natural tools for learning, so that their ability will be at a maximum in future learning situations.  The Montessori materials have this dual long-range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child.

The children are grouped according to the different ages of development: 3-6 years, 6-9 years and 9-12 years with all children attending the school 5 days a week, with the 3 to 5 year olds going home at midday each day.


What Are The Benefits Of A Montessori Education ?

  • Children develop a lifelong love of learning.
  • Children develop a sense of achievement and self worth.
  • Children learn through experience and their own actions.
  • Children take greater responsibility for themselves and their education.
  • Children develop initiative, self-motivation and persistence in completing a task.
  • Children develop independence, responsibility, concentration, respect, adaptability and patience.
  • Children develop self-confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline.
  • Children build on their innate sense of order and desire to complete a task. Children develop creative      self-expression and co-operation.
MONTESSORI EDUCATIONTRADITIONAL EDUCATION
Teacher has unobtrusive role in class, the facilitator.Teacher is the centre of classroom, the controller
Environment and method encourage self disciplineTeacher acts as primary enforcer of discipline
Mainly individual instructionMainly group instruction
Mixed age groupingSame age group
Child chooses own work while teacher monitors progress.Teacher assigns work to child
Child discovers own concepts from self-teaching, self-correcting materialsChild is shown concepts by teacher and corrected by teacher
Child works as long as he wishes on chosen projectsChild generally allocated specific time for givenwork
Child sets own learning pace and reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feeling of successInstruction pace usually set by group norm.If work is corrected, errors are pointed out or praise comes from the teacher
Multi-sensory materials for physical explorationFew, but increasingly more
Child can work where he chooses, move around and talk at will yet not disturb others at work, also participate in group projectsChild often assigned own place. Required to participate, sit still and listen during groups
Teacher facilitates organised programme for learning, care of self and environmentCare of self and environment left primarily to parents

Montessori Insights

This inspirational video goes over the philosophical differences between public and Montessori schools. I think anyone with a child about to enter pre-school should see this. 

We are creating a documentary film project called "Building the Pink Tower" which will re-imagine schools and learning through the lens of Montessori education. We want to share this video which shows the magic of Montessori education.

We spent a morning at Cornerstone Montessori School in Saint Paul, MN, to gather footage for the "Building the pink tower" fundraising trailer.

Sydney Montessori School is a great place to learn! We have facilities from babies of 6 months up to aged 18 years! 


Making a case for change

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. 

In this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning -- creating conditions where kids' natural talents can flourish.