Maria Montessori created the Montessori Method over 100 years ago based on her experience with and observations of children who were considered ‘unable to learn’. She worked with children who simply did not thrive in the traditional classroom. Through her work, she found that those children could learn when they were presented with the right type of environment and opportunities. She learned several truths about the way children learn and designed the Montessori Method based on those truths. Today, we can learn a lot about the way that children learn by looking at the design of the Montessori Method.
Children learn through exploration
The Montessori classroom is equipped with multiple areas that allow for hands-on learning. The Montessori Philosophy teaches us that children learn through exploration. When given the time and space to explore, children will willingly learn. The learning stations throughout the Montessori classroom are intentionally designed and based on the learning needs of the students. This focus on exploration also opens up the world to children. When learning happens in a hands-on way, the whole world becomes a place where learning can happen. This design can help children develop into life-long learners who recognize that the classroom is not the only place where learning can happen.
Children have the capacity for focused learning
Through her research and experience, Maria Montessori found that children have the capacity for focused learning. This idea was contrary to what educators believed about the children in Maria Montessori’s classroom. She found that even the most difficult children could focus on a task or topic when they had sincere interest in that task or topic. One of the roles of the teacher in the Montessori classroom is to provide each student with learning opportunities that will capture his or her attention and allow for focused learning.
Children have unique learning needs
The Montessori Method also teaches us that every child has unique learning needs. The idea of creating one lesson plan to teach a classroom full of children simply does not align with the reality that every child is different. Maria Montessori found that each child in her classroom had a unique way of learning and approaching the world. She designed the Montessori Method to take those individual needs into account. The teacher in the Montessori classroom creates an individualized learning plan for each student based on the unique learning style and needs of that student.
The Montessori Philosophy takes a very different view of children, the learning process, and the role of teachers in comparison to the public school classroom. Parents and educators can gain insight into the way children learn by studying the Montessori Philosophy of education. Many parents find that the design of the Montessori classroom is aligned with their own beliefs about the way children learn. If you want to learn more about the Montessori classroom and the way that children learn, schedule a time to observe a class. You can see the Montessori Method in action and experience the difference it makes for each student.