Encourage Innovation and Growth
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 - 1952), an Italian physician and educator, was the founder of the educational philosophy which still bears her name today. She based her philosophy on the premise that education involves the unfolding of the abilities which a child possesses at birth. She emphasized that a child learns best if given freedom to discover, explore and create in an enriched environment under the guidance and encouragement of a trained directress (teacher).
Montessori designed specific learning materials for the classroom environment, but also believed that her method should be open-ended and encouraged innovation and growth based on observation of the child.
Montessori is a philosophy and method of education which emphasizes the potential of the young child and which develops this potential by utilizing special teaching materials. Montessori materials help the child to understand what he learns by associating abstract concepts with concrete sensorial experiences.
In the Montessori method, the teacher observes each student and based on those observations develops an individualized curriculum for each student. The Montessori Method believes that rewards and punishments are not necessary. A child's ability to pursue his or her own interests provides enough rewards and incentives for learning to occur.
Montessori vs Traditional System
Mixed age grouping, children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other
Most teaching is done by teacher and collaboration is discouraged
Freedom of choose, child works as long as she/he wishes on own chosen project
Child generally given specific project and time limit to work.
Child spots own errors through feedback from the material
Work is corrected and errors usually pointed out by teacher.
Child can work where she/he is comfortable, and moves around the classroom.
Child usually assigned own chair, encouraged to sit still and listen during group sessions.