Montessori is an educational approach focusing on independence, respect for a child’s natural development, and freedom (within limits). It is founded on the premise that while children develop in different ways and at different rates, they do so in a defined sequence. The Montessori approach holds that young children have a natural drive to understand the world around them and they can best learn through self-teaching in carefully prepared environments, under the guidance of a caring teacher.
Montessori teachers help individual children find challenges appropriate for their skill level. While traditional teachers tend to act as leaders and organizers, Montessori teachers serve more as a guides and facilitators. It is their job to provide positive reinforcement and steer children towards challenging activities while respecting their freedom of choice.
Classrooms in Montessori schools are specially designed to spark curiosity, minimize unnecessary failure and promote feelings of joy when achievement occurs. Children start by focusing on concrete and manipulative tasks then shift to more abstract tasks as knowledge and proficiency increase. In a Montessori classroom, the goal is to stimulate the desire for self exploration and understanding.