The Montessori Method
The Montessori Method was originally developed in the early 20th century by Dr. Maria Montessori, who recognized through rigorous study and close observation that children learn in a unique way, depending on what stage they are in their human development.
More than a century of research has since cemented the deep benefits to this holistic learning philosophy and methodology, and today there are over 20,000 Montessori schools worldwide, with over 5,000 of these based in the United States alone.
The Nine Principles of Montessori Education (adopted from Montessori- The Science Behind the Genius) are:
1. Movement and cognition are closely entwined, and movement can enhance thinking and learning.
2. Learning and well-being are improved when people have a sense of control over their lives.
3. The ability to direct one's attention in a sustained and concentrated way fosters an array of positive developments and is itself trainable.
4. People learn better when they are interested in what they are learning.
5. Tying extrinsic rewards to an activity, such as money for reading or high grades for tests, negatively impacts motivation to engage in that activity when the reward is withdrawn.
6. Collaborative arrangements can be very conducive to learning.
7. Learning situated in meaningful contexts is often deeper and richer than learning in abstract contexts.
8. Particular forms of adult interaction are associated with more optimal child outcomes.
9. Order in the environment is beneficial to children.
These principles are intrinsically weaved into the materials used in a prepared Montessori classroom environment, with the teacher serving as more of a guide, rather than the single-direct learning source, thus giving children and adolescents the opportunity to discover and learn by themselves, and thereby internalizing life lessons and skills more deeply with a sense of profound achievement.
We recommend the following publications for researching Montessori more in-depth:
The Absorbent Mind by Dr. Maria Montessori - Vol 1. in the Montessori Series
Education and Peace by Dr. Maria Montessori - Vol. 10 in the Montessori Series
From Childhood to Adolescence by Dr. Maria Montessori - Vol. 12 in the Montessori Series
Montessori - The Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Stoll Lillard, 3rd ed.
Montessori - A Modern Approach by Paula Polk Lillard
Montessori in the Classroom: A Teacher's Account of How Children Really Learn by Paula Polk Lillard
Please refer to our Montessori membership organisations for more information on Montessori education:
Association Montessori International - USA (AMIUSA)
Association Montessori Internationale (Global)
Montessori Foundation / Montessori Family Alliance / International Montessori Council