How’s this for an elevator response to the question: “What is Montessori?”
Montessori is an artful and historically significant method of education arising from a delight in and respect for the human character, its condition and potential.
How does Montessori work?
The Montessori classroom offers ‘liberty, equality and fraternity’ in the classical sense, with multi sensory experience to enhance muscular memory. Constructive exploration is encouraged in an atmosphere of purposeful community effort.
Here a teacher artfully gauges how much help a child needs in deciding the next sound in his word — while helping another child start her embroidery.
The older Elementary children load the bus for a camping trip which is now a part of history for them. Montessori’s ideas about movement and learning, the role of choice, making independence possible, endure, not only in Montessori schools, but in many other settings. We observe the child and design experiences that allow these natural processes to occur.
A group of Primary teachers delighted by a recent exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical gardens and by having the time to spend together, talking about their work and their plans.
Character develops in the exchange of ideas.
A human being’s musical potential, for example, can be more easily attained with an early refinement of the ability to discriminate between pitches. Here, a child explores the gradations in pitches in a diatonic scale.
An illustration of the liberty to choose work and to speak about it freely throughout the morning.
Both partners contribute equally …
… and a kind of kinship occurs between the children who are, in a sense, educating themselves and each other with the challenge they have set for themselves.
Two children pour water into molds and explore the feeling of islands and lakes, capes and bays made of clay and real, wet, sloshing & spilling water.
The hands move quickly as a child moves all the puzzle pieces corresponding to the countries in Asia to the mat and back into the puzzle’s frame again. “This is how it goes. I feel it and I know it,” the hands seem to say.
These children are working with water, clay and containers to explore the properties of air.
Elementary children enlist the help of other members of the community to help them raise money for a cause they have decided is a worthy one.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word, “Montessori”?
How would you describe it to someone quickly, say, in the line at the grocery, or on the train on the way to the airport? What pictures form in your mind when you think of the Montessori classroom?
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