Montessori method

Maria Montessori. For the surname, see Montessori (surname).

Children working on the phonogram moveable alphabet The Montessori method is an educating approach for children based on the research and experiences of Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori (1870–1952). It arose in the process of her experimental observation of young children given freedom in an environment, leading her to believe by 1907 that she had discovered "the child's true normal nature." [1] Based on her observations, she created an environment prepared with materials designed for their self-directed learning activity.[2] The method itself aims to duplicate this experimental observation of children to bring about, sustain and support their true natural way of being.[3] Applying this method involves the teacher in viewing the child as having an inner natural guidance for his or her own perfect self-directed development.[4] The teacher's role of observation sometimes includes experimental interactions with children, commonly referred to as "lessons," to resolve misbehavior or to show how to use the various selfteaching materials that are provided in the environment for the children's free use.[5] The method is primarily applied with young children (2.5–6), as this was the initial age with which Dr. Montessori worked. Her philosophy was based on certain characteristic seen in this age group. [6] The method is also utilized successfully for ages 0-3 and 6-9, 912, 12-15 and 15-18, though the majority of children learning through this method are in the 3-6 range.[7][8] Although the Montessori name is recognized by many, it is not a trademark, and it is associated with more than one organization. Schools and teacher training programs can differ in their interpretation, intensity, practical application, and philosophy in using this method with children.[9] This article is about Dr. Maria Montessori’s research and discoveries and their practical application by adherents and practitioners with children.

Each track has evolved its own distinctive organizational affiliations. Based on Dr. training and presentation of the method to the general public. she began to look for an opportunity to study how it might be applied to benefit the education of typically developing children as well. calling it a Children's House. in her book De l'Enfant à l'Adolescent. free activity by adding a series of exercises with specially designed self-teaching materials. and disorder. and research during some 40 years until her death in 1952 constituted the basic foundation of knowledge about the method.[12] In this process. Dr.[13] She opened the center in 1907. Montessori extended her research by introducing new materials and studying the effects of her approach with children of different ages." [15] Following her initial experiments with young children. Maria Montessori conducted with children with intellectual disabilities in the early 1900s. lectures. which is currently conducted according to various philosophies in schools and other institutions associated with the name Montessori throughout the world. Seguin extended Itard's initial idea of observing children in their natural.[16] (From Childhood to Adolescence).[17] The method has developed along several different philosophical tracks. Later. For example. Montessori referred to this change as normalization and the new emerging children as normalized.[14] After 1907. Dr. to a state of profound peace.[12] Montessori was asked to establish a day-care center for young children (2–6) in a lowincome housing area of Rome's San Lorenzo district.[edit] History The "Montessori method" developed from experimental research that Dr. This interest soon led her to write various books on the subject and conduct training programs to explain her approach. by relating how her method would apply to the secondary-school and university settings.[10] She began this research using the basic idea of scientific education that was developed and employed in the 1800s with children with special needs by French physicians Jean Itard and Edouard Seguin. Her writings. which eventually came to be known as the "Montessori method. near the end of her life.and began observing the children in the scientific manner indicated before by Seguin. Dr. Observing this change occurring with all the children in her environment. Montessori contributed to the work of the International Bureau of Education and UNESCO. Montessori's success using this same approach in her initial research with children with disabilities. changing from the ordinary behavior of fantasy.[18] . inattention. she concluded that she had discovered the child's true normal nature. calm and order within their environment. Montessori soon discovered that the children responded to the materials with a deep concentration that resulted in a fundamental shift in their way of being.[11] A student and associate of Itard. Montessori reported her discovery and experiences to educators and others who became increasingly interested in learning how these changes came about in children.

People might visit a well run Montessori environment. the number and diversity of Montessori organizations and philosophies have expanded considerably.[23] The second plane of development (6–12) involves learning through abstract reasoning. each one having its own unique conditions and sensitive periods for acquiring basic faculties in the developmental process.[20] Since then. 2. movement and order. so anyone can open a school and call it a Montessori school. The Montessori Method encompasses so much that it is difficult to know where to begin in describing it. For example. The Montessori method respects individual liberty of children to choose their own activities. some philosophical differences arose. the name "Montessori" was held to be a "generic term" that no organization could claim for its own exclusive use. The first plane (ages 0–6) involves basic personality formation and learning through physical senses. there are also limits to that freedom based on the functionality of the environment.[21] Freedom for self-directed learning. so even educators do not have a clear idea of what Montessori is. Still. The Montessori Method is quite different from traditional thinking. The natural development of children proceeds through several distinct planes of development. in 1967. [22] Planes of development. This often leads to many aspects of the Method that are difficult to explain. . This leads to many incorrect assumptions about what Montessori is. All children have inherent inner directives from nature that guides their true normal development. refinement of the senses. Confusion and conflict about the method's philosophy emerged with particular intensity in the modern development of Montessori in the United States[19] where.[edit] Philosophy The philosophy of the Montessori method has remained difficult at times to explain. With each freedom the child has to make a choice. Do we begin by talking about the materials? The development of the child? The nature of the child? The educational outcomes? The question of its underlying philosophy was made clear in her writings. There are many reasons for this: 1. children experience sensitive periods for acquiring language. but do not have a full understanding of what is happening. 5. This freedom allows children to follow their inner guidance for self-directed learning. 3. Montessori education is often not a part of most mainstream educational university programs. but only that which is available at the time and on which he has had a lesson. During this plane. The Montessori Method is not trademarked. It is not uncommon for people to visit a school with "Montessori" in the name and not see the Montessori Method happening. 4. a child may choose his own work. [edit] Concepts • • • Inner guidance of nature.

rather than engaging in the ordinary system of rewards and punishments. When the guide must resolve misbehavior. A child can move in and out of Normalization for a time. involving the significant biological changes of puberty. degree of difficulty and complexity. love of order. This psychological shift to normal being occurs through repetitive deep concentration on some physical activity of the child's own free choice. the materials must attract the child. independence. spontaneous manner. This mental faculty.[28] Work. even years. Aesthetics are extremely important in a prepared environment. and attachment to fantasy to a state of perfect normal being. especially as related to experiences in the surrounding community. All materials are displayed on open shelving and are available for free. Discipline in a Montessori environment is based on observation as well. The teacher's role is to observe children engaged in activities that follow their own natural interests. "the apparatus". It is part of the Montessori philosophy that all human beings have the ability to achieve Normalization. and complete harmony and peace with others in the social situation. which is followed by a lesson or "presentation". this absorbent mental faculty disappears. involves a completion of all remaining development in the process of maturing in adult society. For young children. she does so by refocusing the child to purposeful activity where she has observed success.[26] Normalization. are not necessarily arriving at academic goalposts at the same time. Based on these observation the teacher or "guide" determines when a child is ready for a new challenge. Because the child must choose to work. inattention. Children in Montessori environments. showing such external behavior as spontaneous self-discipline.[27] Normalization can be fixed or unfixed. The fourth plane (18+). that are consistently organized by subject.[25] Observation and indirect teaching. Montessori referred to as . The young child (0–6) has an absorbent mind which naturally incorporates experiences in the environment directly into its whole basic character and personality for life. which Dr. It also allows them to undergo the key phenomenon of normalization to return to their true natural development. Children have an instinctive tendency to develop through spontaneous experiences on the environment. independent use. allows them to learn many concepts in an effortless. For example. therefore.[24] Prepared environment. a Montessori environment has the teacher observing conflict and guiding children to resolve it themselves. This indirect teaching of responding to the child. The third plane (12–18) is the period of adolescent growth. contrasts sharply with the traditional teacher's role of implementing a timed. After the age of about six. the environment must be prepared with a particular series of scientifically developed material. not play. to stimulate their natural instincts and interests for selfdirected learning. During the 0–6 plane of development. which is unique to young children. children have the ability to shift their fundamental being from the ordinary condition of disorder. The optimal conditions around children allow for and support their true natural development. before reaching it.• • • • • developing through a sensitivity for imagination and social interaction with others. Absorbent mind. moving towards learning a valuation of the human personality. pre-determined curriculum.

sequentially varying in two dimensions). Supporting this inner plan of nature. history (a child's perception of himself in time). and culture. [edit] Practical life Practical life materials and exercises respond to the young child's natural interests to develop physical coordination. and science (interactions with the natural world). these materials are generally organized into five basic categories: practical life. as well as washing a table and food preparation to develop hand-eye coordination. rather than idle play through such means as toys and fantasy. shape and dimension.[34] Many of these materials were originally suggested and developed by Seguin in his prior research with scientific education.[35] Examples of these materials are pink tower (series of ten sequential cubes. These activities also provide a useful opportunity for children to concentrate bringing about their normalization. scooping and sorting activities. Other categories include geography (a child's perception of himself in space). zipping. the method provides a range of materials to stimulate the child's interest through self-directed activity. Children learn from each other in a spontaneous manner that supports their independent self-directed activity. such as cooking and vacuuming. Other practical life activities include lessons in polite manners. sitting in a chair.[29] In this sense. Specific materials provide opportunities for self-help dressing activities. such as folding hands. based on Planes of Development (see above). such as 2–6 (primary level) or 6–12 (elementary level). including such attributes as size.[32] [edit] Montessori materials and curriculum The Montessori method involves a curriculum of learning that comes from the child's own natural inner guidance and expresses itself in outward behavior as the child's various individual interests are at work. language.'work'. [edit] Sensorial The sensorial materials provide a range of activities and exercises for children to experience the natural order of the physical environment. knobbed cylinders (wooden blocks with 10 depressions to fit variable sized cylinders). color. broad stairs (ten wooden blocks.[30] [31] • Multi-age grouping.[33] As the child ages into an elementary program. color tablets (colored objects for matching pairs or grading shapes of color). the children's normal activity is attached to reality in the present moment. using various devices to practice buttoning.[36] [edit] Language . walking in line. varying in volume). bow tying. and lacing. The ordinary Montessori classroom therefore consists of a mixed-aged group. sensorial. In the first plane of development (0–6). care of self and care of the environment. math. Other practical life materials include pouring. Practical Life activities take on a practical purpose.

globes. so as to leave the child with . these lessons primarily aim to present their basic use to children according to their own individual interests and academic readiness. he can create words using moveable letters from the "moveable alphabet". adverbs. articles.In the first plane of development (0–6). a concept that was first explained in England in 1935.[37] Displaying several letters. Following writing with the movable alphabet. such as geography (map puzzles. When their hand is strong enough from use with the Metal Insets and other materials. he may write words with a pencil using the shapes he learned from the sandpaper letters. pronouns. and science. cultural suitcases containing country-specific materials). prepositions. a set of individual letters. These lessons are therefore given in such a way that the teacher carefully shows the precise use. learning resources include reading books and more abstract materials for learning a broad range of advanced subject matter. the curriculum takes on a more conventional appearance of books and writing activities. verbs.[42] [edit] Lessons In the Montessori method.[41] Cosmic education is the total interrelated functioning of the whole universe. a lesson is an experimental interaction with children to support their true normal development. Montessori language materials have also been developed to help children learn grammar. a lesson known as the "Seguin three-period lesson" (see below) guides children to learn the letter sounds and the movements of their shape. adjectives. commonly known as sandpaper letters. since children now function more through abstract reasoning and are no longer as sensitive to the physical environment.[39] [edit] Elementary (6–12) curriculum During the second plane (6–12) of development. Music and art are also commonly involved with children in various ways.[40] The contextual format for this more advanced curriculum is described as cosmic education. For writing skill development. conjunctions. When the child is proficient with the majority of the sounds. the child begins to read words. including parts of speech such as nouns. provide the basic means for associating the individual letter symbols with their corresponding phonetic sounds. the Montessori language materials provide experiences to develop use of a writing instrument and the basic skills of reading a written language. such as biology in naming and organizing plants and animals. After the age of approximately six.[43] With materials. through isolated movements or steps. and interjections. the metal insets provide essential exercises to guide the child's hand in following different outline shapes while using a pencil. For reading. which allows elementary children to store and organize a great amount of knowledge from among a wide range of different subject matter areas and disciplines. The materials evolve for further complexity in the later planes of development [38] [edit] Cultural subjects The Montessori classroom may also include other materials and resources to learn cultural subjects.

Period 3 involves checking to see if the child not only recognizes the name of the material. • • • Period 1 consists of providing the child with the name of the material."[45] With this nomenclature lesson.”[46] [edit] Montessori in the Home Aspects of the Montessori method are readily employed with children at home.[dubious – discuss] Educators. preferring them over other types of sounds. Most of the time with the three-period lesson is in period 2. “sing-song” type of voice. Parents follow the method by using slow. "What is this?" If the child replies with. physical coordination. described originally by Seguin. such as setting the table for meals. learning and playing) does have beneficial effects for preschoolers." This provides the children with the name of what they are learning. researchers and doctors are confirming that musical training can significantly enhance child development.[47] Despite much criticism. Some things the teacher might say are. In the case of letter sounds. the child may move on to period 3. A child’s musical receptiveness remains especially strong through the preschool years until about the age of six. but is able to tell you what it is.a high potential for success and not to interfere with the child's own free learning directly through the materials themselves. the child fully understands it. With young children. "u". such as “up.[48] infant brains are sensitive and responsive to musical sounds. the teacher will have the child trace the letter and say. concentration. is used in the Montessori method for showing the relationship between objects and names. With letters. [citation needed] Several studies[which?] indicate that exposure to music (listening. scientists. as well as by establishing routines for children to conduct their own activities with as much independence and self-direction as possible. Active musical training can improve their problem-solving skills. and folding clothes for laundry. a three-step process.” After spending some time in the second period. The teacher will point to the "u" sandpaper letter and ask the student. or "sounds" to make a words. Point to the /p/.[citation needed] As it is reinforced by Diana Deutsch. "This is /u/. the lessons continue until the child can combine the letters. the practical life materials and exercises are provided through everyday household activities and chores.[citation needed] That is why parents speak to their infants in a high-pitched. Show me the /p/” or "Point to the /u/. This is called the "three-period lesson. a professor at the University of California at San Diego in an interview on WNYC radio.[44] For many presentations. food preparation. . Period 2 is to help the child recognize the different objects. two or three materials are selected from what the children are working with. [edit] Music in Montessori environment Maria Montessori discovered that musical education greatly benefits children during their developmental years. This is /p/. poise. Montessori applications appeared in 2010 for the Apple iPad for parents to employ digital versions of Montessori activities at home. "Show me the /u/. simple movements in showing how to do these chores.

aural and language skills." Research by K. They also showed more concern for fairness and justice. "when strictly implemented.[citation needed] It fosters self confidence and improves the ability to learn. In Maria Montessori: a Biography. tone blocks and movable note blocks. This improved performance was achieved in a variety of areas.memory. and argues the need for more research.the method is Montessori and Montessori is the method and one may well have grave doubts about how it will go with 'auto-education' when Maria Montessori's personality is removed. attended other schools.. and reported feeling more of a sense of community at their school. Lillard cites research indicating that Montessori's basic methods are more suited to what psychology research reveals about human development. Montessori children wrote more creative essays with more complex sentence structures. self discipline. A 2006 study published in the journal "Science" concluded that Montessori students (at ages 5 and 12) performed better than control students who had lost a random computerized lottery to attend a Montessori school and instead went to a variety of different conventional schools. over half . 188) [edit] Benefits Angeline Stoll Lillard's award-winning 2005 book Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius (Oxford University Press) presents a recent overview evaluating Montessori versus conventional education in terms of research relevant to their underlying principles. Montessori herself. Dohrmann and colleagues [52] supplements this by showing superior math and science performance in high school by children who previously attended public Montessori (as compared to high school classmates.[49] The Montessori environment provides experiential learning with a set of bells. The authors concluded that. Rita Kramer[50] reports that a New York Times writer interviewing Montessori in 1913 stated: . By the end of kindergarten. but in social skills as well (though by age 12 academic benefits had largely disappeared). visual.[51] On several dimensions. children at a public inner city Montessori school had superior outcomes relative to a sample of Montessori applicants who. Montessori education fosters social and academic skills that are equal or superior to those fostered by a pool of other types of schools. because of a random lottery. and showed advanced social cognition and executive control more. At the end of elementary school. including not only traditional academic areas such as language and math. selected more positive responses to social dilemmas.. [edit] Criticism of Montessori Some critics claim that a flaw in the Montessori method is its close association with Dr. engaged in positive interaction on the playground more. the Montessori children performed better on standardized tests of reading and math.” (p.

and two studies by Rathunde and Csikszentmihalyi[53][54] showing a higher level of interest and motivation while doing school work as well as more positive social relations among Montessori middle-schoolers as opposed to matched controls.of whom were at the most selective city public high schools). [edit] See also • • • • • Montessori sensorial materials Maria Montessori Dorothy Canfield Fisher Inclusive classroom Gifted education .

Types of Preschool Assessment Preschool assessment in an early childhood classroom is important because it drives the teacher's lesson plans. the time of day (circle time. then make letter-like symbols. it is okay to say "Charlie smiled" but not okay to say "Charlie was happy. The teacher takes anecdotal notes regularly as she does observations of the child. For instance when children are learning to write they scribble. She also collects samples of the child's work. Young children should be assessed throughout the day so that the teacher will be aware of the child's skills in all areas of development. opportunities and guidance that will move him to the next level. Young children should always be assessed in a natural setting while doing the things they do every day.).Preschool Assessment In The Classroom Appropriate ongoing preschool assessment is an important component of any quality early childhood program. The assessment tool gives the teacher guidelines that show her where the child stands in the process of his development. what the child was doing. If Jimmy has been making letter-like symbols. So. If it is apparent that a child never counts past three the teacher knows that she must provide materials and opportunities and guidance for this child to count as often as possible. This is formative assessment. and a few details. we offer Jimmy lots of materials. This type of assessment is called authentic assessment because the child is not ." The anecdotal notes will tell the date. and reflect on each child's abilities. writing letters. write anecdotal notes. then write letters. choice time. A developmentally appropriate assessment includes observations of the child as he goes about his business. Anecdotal notes should only state the facts -not opinions. Children develop most skills in a specific order. It is alright to use your own shorthand as long as you know what it means. In other words. and then words and sentences. They plan according to what they have learned through their observations. we know he is nearly ready to begin writing letters and later words. Teachers observe. The assessment also provides information for teacher's to share with parents at conferences etc. etc. All teaching staff will write anecdotal notes continuously on children that reflect their skills in all areas of development.

. I wrote my anecdotals on computer labels and put the labels on each child's sheet in the appropriate area. I have seen teachers write anecdotals on sticky notes. The anecdotal notes are not considered accurate unless the teacher observes the same level of functioning in a particular area of development more than once. It takes a long time to know what to look for when you are observing for assessment purposes. index cards. I have seen teachers put materials for note taking in several different spots in the classroom (for easy access).tested. Organizing the method you use for writing anecdotal notes helps you be more effective and efficient as you do your observations. It seems overwhelming at times. and computer labels. I wanted to be able to see at a glance which children I hadn't observed much and which areas of development I was neglecting. The assessment is done in natural circumstances. I have also carried index cards and an ink pen in a fanny pack or small tool apron. I could see everything I wanted to see at a glance. Having worked with this type of assessment I know it is not easy at first. This works great too. notebook paper. One way to organize index cards of course is in a recipe box with the children's names in order alphabetically. I am a very visual person myself. Become familiar with the process and the assessment tool. If you are using a particular early childhood assessment tool for the first time relax. It was divided into squares labeled with the various areas of development. I had a larger than legal size paper.

Preschool Assessment Tools There are a number of great tools for assessing young children's skills in all areas of development. . The HighScope Child Observation Record (COR) and the Creative Curriculum Continuum and Meisels Work Sampling System are three of them.

Montessori. Parents can learn a lot by watching their child's video too. Even though I have always used authentic assessment I find that it is nearly impossible to collect ALL of the information I would like. Another time we might look at the same video and concentrate on play skills or gross or fine motor skills. A video tape of a child building with blocks can be as helpful as a sample of a child's writing. including a thorough theory and teaching strategies manual that provides detailed. Assessment tools that are available on CD or online have their advantages. . philosophy and methodology of Dr. essential topics surrounding the theory. Some assessments will even take the recorded information and give you a summary for a parent report. The advantage to the video tapes was that we could watch them over and over in order to see different things. We could look at the tape one time and look at the interaction with other children.The Foundation Program of Montessori Our 3–6 distance education Montessori diploma program offers a comprehensive curriculum. Interacting with the children is still the MOST important thing teachers do and preschool assessment serves no purpose without interaction. Preschool/Kindergarten .For several years my co-teacher and I video-taped each child on his or her own tape at various times during the day. Usually you can type in your anecdotal information and the computer program will organize the information almost any way you want it. Some preschool assessment tools are now available online.

Constructive Triangles and more.Six superior quality curriculum manuals are included with this diploma program. View Table of Contents Blackline Masters 19 pages of blackline masters. appreciate and understand her world. Red Rods. all designed to complement our 3–6 curriculum. The manuals cover the critical stages of development for ages 3–6. PLUS! Our program includes online access to over 5 hours of professional video presentations and 475 pages of Blackline Masters on CD.. including demonstrations using the Pink Tower. Sensorial Development & Music Enrichment (214 page manual) Sensorial Activities including Music: An array of activities to assist the child in understanding the information she receives from her environment. Music for the Montessori classroom is also covered. View a Sample Lesson Sensorial Online Presentations Now Included! Follow along with your curriculum manual and view almost two hours worth of key Sensorial activities. Sensorial impressions are infinite.. The activities presented in this manual help the child discriminate. View Sample Video View Activity List . View a Sample Blackline Master. Broad Stair. setting out step-by-step activities for the educator to introduce to the children. complement the Sensorial curriculum.

Blackline Masters 255 pages of Language Arts blackline masters. including demonstrations using the Movable Alphabet. View a Sample Blackline Master. We also document journal keeping. phonograms and blends. complement the Language Arts curriculum. Pink & Blue Materials and many more activities. Montessori and the Montessori method Language Arts Manual (209 page manual) Through the use of a multitude of activities. blue and yellow materials. View Sample Video View Activity List . whole language and poetry. Some of the topics covered are: • How to present lessons the Montessori Way • How to organize a Montessori classroom • Classroom management • Starting off right in September • Parental involvement • Special needs • The absorbent mind • Critical periods of development • Grace and courtesy View Sample Pages View Table of Contents • Dr.Montessori 3-6 Classroom Guide (275 page manual) This is the most extensive Montessori 3–6 "How to Teach" manual ever published. creative writing. View a Sample Lesson View Table of Contents Language Arts Online Presentations Now Included! Follow along with your curriculum manual and view 26 key Language Arts activities. irregular or sight words. which leads to fluent (total) reading. Sandpaper Letters. phonetic reading and writing. including the pink. a child first learns his phonetic sounds.

Children by their very nature are fascinated with animals. Science Experiments . children gain their first sense of history. Bead Material. habits and characteristics. water and air. Sand Paper Number. and progressing to studying the world's different regions through photographs. View a Sample Lesson Mathematics Online Presentations Now Included! Follow along with your curriculum manual and view 51 key Mathematics activities. View Table of Contents. View a Sample Blackline Master. and their own family tree. View a Sample Blackline Master. History ..Culture and Science Manual (183 page manual) . We learn about animals and to respect their needs. complement the Culture & Science curriculum. All experiments are "teacher friendly". View Sample Video View Activity List . and systematically progress to solving complex addition. geo-molds and geography puzzles.By examining their own timeline from birth to present.. and the concept of time is brought to life. Botany Zoology View a Sample Lesson View Table of Contents . Blackline Masters 126 pages of blackline masters. Teen Boards and much much more. complement the Mathematics curriculum. Mathematics Manual (201 page manual) All activities incorporate the use of concrete materials. multiplication and division questions. including demonstrations using the Number Rods.The activities are interesting and fun! They are all "hands on".Starting with land. Children first learn to count to ten. Blackline Masters 74 pages of blackline masters. Helps him develop an appreciation for the delicate balance of nature. Geography . subtraction. Prediction and analysis are incorporated into each experiment. art.Assists the child in exploring the biological aspects of his environment. The study of botany is child centered using live plants as a knowledge and interest catalyst.

confidence and self esteem. Practical Life begins with an introduction to ensure your thorough understanding of the subject. View a Sample Lesson View Table of Contents . respect for others. concentration. fine motor skills.Practical Life Manual (155 page manual) Practical Life Activities: Like all of the manuals. independence. many creative time tested Practical Life activities are offered to assist the child in developing a sense of order. personal pride. grace and courtesy. Following the introduction.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful