The Montessori Method
The educational system that Dr. Montessori developed became the Montessori Method. It has several important elements. The “Prepared Environment” is the Montessori classroom. It is carefully designed and filled based on the needs of the children and careful observation by a guide, or teacher. These materials are designed to be attractive to many children. The children are free to choose which materials meet their own developmental needs at the moment. The freedom in the classroom does have many limits. The safety and well being of the entire classroom is important and children are given specific lessons in Grace and Courtesy in order to assist in communication, conflict resolution and social skills. Children may be gently guided or given a lesson to ensure that a balance of activities are chosen.
Montessori materials are created so that the child can identify errors without assistance. In this manner, they control the learning experience and have the opportunity to repeat work unhindered. Children are provided with a long work period which allows flexibility in choice and time for challenging works.
Scientific research has supported many of the ideas that are natural in a Montessori classroom. Movement, choice and interest all promote learning and retention.