Academics -- The Montessori Method

Maria Montessori, Italy’s first woman doctor, observed that children have a tremendous ability to absorb learning from the world around them. It was clear to her that children learn by doing. Therefore, early in the twentieth century, Montessori developed a special educational environment where young students could learn by using “hands on” materials. Montessori’s method was one of the first to recognize the needs of children at different developmental stages. Montessori also stressed that each child should be approached as an individual with unique interests and strengths. Dr. Maria Montessori’s materials and techniques are now used in school classrooms all over the world.


 The Twelve Points of the Montessori Method

  1. It is based on years of patient observation of the child’s nature.
  2. It has proved itself of universal application. Within a single generation, it has been tried with complete success with children of almost every civilized nation. Race, color, climate, nationality, social rank, type of civilization - all of these make no difference to its successful application.
  3. It has revealed the small child as a lover of work, intellectual work, spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.
  4. It is based on the child’s imperious need to learn by doing. At each stage in the child's mental growth, corresponding educational activities are provided by means of which he/she develops his/her facilities.
  5. While it offers the child a maximum of spontaneity, it nevertheless enables him/her to reach the same, or an even higher level of scholastic achievement than under the traditional systems.
  6. Though it does away with the necessity of coercion by means of rewards and punishments, it achieves a higher discipline than coercion. It is an active discipline which originates within the child and it is not imposed from outside.
  7. It is based on a profound respect for the child’s personality and removes from him/her the predominant influence of the adult, thus leaving him room to grow in personal independence. Therefore the child is allowed a large measure of liberty (not license) which forms the basis of real discipline.
  8. It enables the teacher to deal with each child individually in each subject and thus guide him/her according to his/her individual requirements.
  9. Each child works at his/her own pace, so the quick child is not held back by the slow, nor is the slower, in trying to keep up with the quicker, obliged to flounder along hopelessly out of his/her depth. For every child, each stone in the mental edifice is "well and truly laid" before the next is added.
  10. It does away with the competitive classroom experience and its train of baneful results. More than this, at every turn it presents endless opportunities among children for mutual help - which is joyfully given and gratefully received.
  11. Since the child works from his/her own free choice, without competition and coercion, he/she is freed from danger of overstrain, feelings of inferiority, and other experiences which are apt to be the unconscious cause of profound mental disturbances in later life.
  12. Finally, the Montessori method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely his/her intellectual faculties but also his/her powers of deliberation, initiative and independent choice, with their emotional complements. By living as a free member of a real social community, the child is trained in those fundamental social qualities which form the basis of good citizenship.