Principles of Montessori

Montessori (pronounced MON-tuh-SORE-ee) education was founded in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to becomea physician. She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children's learning processes. Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Montessori designed a "prepared environment" in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. Now, nearly a century after Maria Montessori's first casa dei bambini ("children's house") in Rome, Montessori education is found all over the world, spanning ages from birth to adolescence.

Eight Principles of Montessori

  1. Movement and Cognition: Movement and Cognition are closely entwined, movement can enhance learning.
  2. Choice: Learning is improved when there is a sense of control.
  3. Interest: Children learn better when they are interested in what they are learning.
  4. Extrinsic Rewards are Avoided: Extrinsic rewards (like money for grades) negatively impacts motivation when the Rewards are withdrawn.
  5. Learning from and with peers: Children learning together in groups, helps to improve learning.
  6. Learning in Context: Learning in meaningful contexts is better than in abstract contexts.
  7. Teacher and Child Interaction: Particular forms of teacher and child interaction provide for optimizing a child's potential.
  8. Order in the environment and mind: Order in the environment is beneficial to the children. Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.