What is Montessori education?
The Montessori Method allows each child to learn and explore interests at his or her own pace. Montessori classrooms consist of mixed age groups; the primary classroom contains 3-, 4- and 5-year-old students. Every classroom is child-centered and facilitates each child’s independence.
Children are presented with their work through a sequence of lessons. Concepts are first introduced as an idea in its simplest form. As children progress through the curriculum, they begin to make complex connections with the materials.
The use of self-correcting materials within the environment allows each child to learn and correct his or her own errors. This way, children come to the correct answers without teacher direction.
In a Montessori classroom, children work for the joy of learning and the sense of discovery. Children are natural leaders and sponges; they delight in learning new tasks. Their interests lie in the work itself rather than in the end product.
Want to learn more?
If you want to find out more about the Montessori Method, there are a wealth of resources online. A good place to start is with a great overview available on Wikipedia. More in-depth information is available from the American Montessori Society, and answers to common questions can be found at The International Montessori Index.
Famous Montessori students
Many famous people accredit their success to the ideals and fundamental approaches they learned in a Montessori classroom. Well-known people who attended a Montessori school as a child include:
- Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google
- Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia
- Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon
- David Blaine, illusionist and magician
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former first lady (John F. Kennedy)
- Media mogul and musician Sean Combs
Watch a YouTube video of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google, talk about their experience as Montessori students.