Montessori is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator, Maria Montessori. Montessori education is practiced in an estimated 20,000 schools worldwide, serving children from birth to eighteen years old.
Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development, as well as technological advancements in society.
Mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children aged 2½ or 3 to 6 years old by far the most common.
Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options.
Uninterrupted blocks of work time.
A Constructivism or "discovery" model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction.
Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators.
Montessori saw universal, innate characteristics in human psychology which her son and collaborator Mario Montessori identified as "human tendencies" in 1957. There is some debate about the exact list, but the following are clearly identified:
Orientation to the environment
Work, also described as "purposeful activity"
Manipulation of the environment
The "mathematical mind"
Montessori's education method called for free activity within a "prepared environment", meaning an educational environment tailored to basic human characteristics and to the specific characteristics of children at different ages. The function of the environment is to allow the child to develop independence in all areas according to his or her inner psychological directives. In addition to offering access to the Montessori materials appropriate to the age of the children, the environment should exhibit the following characteristics:
Construction in proportion to the child and his/her needs
Beauty and harmony, cleanliness of environment
An arrangement that facilitates movement and activity
Limitation of materials, so that only material that supports the child's development is included
(information provided by Wikipedia)
"Free the child's potential and you will free the world"
"As soon as children find something that interest them they lose their instability and learn to concentrate."
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist."
"Whoever touches the life of a child, touches the most sensitive part of a whole which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future."
"It is true we cannot make a genius. We can only give to each child the chance to fulfull his potential possibilities."
"The role of education is to interest the child profoundly in an external activity to which he will give all of his potential."
Prince William and Prince Harry
Anne Frank, famous child diarist from WWII
Dakota Fanning, actress
Jacqueline Kennedy, former First Lady
Helen Hunt, Actress
Julia Child, first TV chef
George Clooney, Actor
Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton