Frequently Asked Questions
Who was Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori was the first woman physician in Italy. She received her education from the University of Rome where she graduated with a medical degree in 1896. She was also an educator, lecturer and writer. She based her method upon observing the natural patterns of children. Maria Montessori concluded that with guidance, children teach themselves.
What is the Montessori philosophy?
Montessori education is a unique cycle of learning designed to take advantage of a child’s sensitive years. It is based upon the premise of respect for all life.
Children absorb vast amounts of information from an enriched environment with little effort. The classroom and materials are designed to fully capitalize on the natural learning potential of each child. This environment helps children develop, within themselves, the foundation for a lifetime of continuous learning and creative thinking.
What are the sensitive years?
Maria Montessori believed that education begins at birth. It was her conclusion that the first six years of life are the most formative and the most important, both physically and mentally. Through a normal and a gradual learning process, behavior patterns are established and the powers of the adult mind are gradually built. “A sensitive period, once past, cannot be recaptured.”
What does the “prepared environment” mean?
The “prepared environment” is one that encourages exploration and movement (especially for the young child) and will allow “freedom within limits.” It encourages a sense of order and helps the child develop and learn at his/her own pace.
What is the purpose of a multi-aged setting in the classroom?
Mixed age grouping encourages the sense of family and community. It also provides mentoring opportunities in which the older students help the younger students; thereby, the mentoring students reinforce their own skills in the process and build self-esteem.
Is Montessori a religion?
Montessori is a philosophy, not a religion. We teach the children the diversity of cultures and the beliefs of all people.
What do you teach in a Montessori classroom?
There is a broad range of activities and materials within the classroom. Beginning at age two, these activities include practical life, sensorial, language, math, science, geography, zoology, and botany. Socialization, independence, personal awareness and cultural diversity are of utmost importance in the development of each child’s character.
At what age can I enroll my child?
You can enroll your child beginning at 18 months in the toddler program and continue through eighth grade.
What is the American Montessori Society?
AMS is a national, not-for-profit, non-discriminatory association dedicated to promoting quality Montessori education for all children. Since 1960, AMS has been the main source for Montessori educational needs.
AMS national headquarters, located in New York City, acts as the resource center for Montessori Education in the United States. AMS incorporates the Montessori approach into the framework of American education.