When you look closely at the Montessori classroom, you will discover that it is designed differently than the traditional classroom. The philosophy behind the design of the Montessori classroom focuses on the needs of the individual child. In the Montessori Method, each student has unique learning needs, and the classroom design reflects that belief. The philosophy also posits that children learn best when they are active participants in the process and can focus intently when provided with the right environment. Each of these elements impacts some aspects of the layout and design in the Montessori classroom.
Each student has unique learning needs
No two students are exactly alike in the way they learn. Also, the rate at which each student learns and progresses through a subject can vary significantly. These differences make it impossible to meet the needs of each student with a single lesson plan. Each student has unique learning needs, and the Montessori classroom is designed with that fact in mind. In a Montessori program every child gets an individualized learning plan that is based on his or her learning style, interests, and abilities. The Montessori Method holds that the unique learning needs of each student should be met in the classroom.
Children learn best when they are active participants
The Montessori classroom is designed to provide children with some control over how they learn. Students can choose to explore topics of interest as part of their everyday curriculum. The philosophy behind this element of the design is that children learn best when they are active participants in choosing what and how they learn. When a student gets the opportunity to explore an area of interest, learning is much more natural. This element of the design also develops a sense of personal responsibility in students for their education which will, in turn, help them become life-long learners.
Children can focus when provided the opportunity
There are several different stations set up around the Montessori classroom. Students are given time each day to work – uninterrupted – at one or more of those stations. Children in the Montessori classroom demonstrate an ability to focus on a task that is rarely seen in the traditional classroom. The philosophy behind this design is that children can focus when provided with the opportunity. The Montessori classroom is set up to provide students with the opportunity to work uninterrupted for extended periods. The small student to teacher ratio and design of the classroom make it possible to provide students with the opportunity to engage in focused learning.
Each element of the Montessori classroom is thoughtfully and intentionally designed. The overarching philosophy of the Montessori Method informs the layout of the classroom and the creation of individualized learning plans. You can learn more about the design of the Montessori classroom and see it in action by scheduling a time to observe a class.