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Montessori Method


"I have studied the child. I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it and that is what is called the Montessori method."

-Dr. Maria Montessori

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Montessori Method


"I have studied the child. I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it and that is what is called the Montessori method."

-Dr. Maria Montessori

Dr. Montessori emphasized the importance of the sensitive periods for early learning. The child motivates from within by a natural curiosity and love for knowledge. Dr. Montessori felt, therefore, that the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a preselected course of studies, but rather to cultivate her own natural desire to learn, So that her ability will be at a maximum in the future learning situations. 

The Montessori materials are based on the young child’s unique aptitude for learning, which Dr. Montessori identified as the “absorbent mind.” She compared the young mind to a sponge. It literally absorbs information from the environment. The child acquiring information in this way is a natural and delightful activity for the young child who employs all his senses to investigate his interesting surroundings in a Montessori classroom. 

 In The Absorbent Mind, Dr. Montessori wrote, “ The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age six. For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement is being formed. But not only his intelligence; the full totally of his psychic power… At no other age has the child greater need of an intelligent help, and any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection” 

Dr. Montessori always emphasized that the hand is the chief teacher of the child. In order to learn there must be concentration, and the best way a child can concentrate is by fixing his attention on a task he is with his hands (All our education is based on hands on material).

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Benefits


Benefits


  • Each Child is valued as a unique individual. Montessori education recognizes that children learn in different ways, and accommodates all learning styles. Students are also free to learn at their own pace, each advancing through the curriculum as he is ready, guided by the teacher and an individualized learning plan.
  • Beginning at an early age, Montessori students develop order, coordination, concentration, and independence. Classroom design, materials, and daily routines support the individual’s emerging “self-regulation” (ability to educate one’s self, and to think about what one is learning), toddlers through adolescents.
  •  Students are part of a close, caring community. The multi-age classroom—typically spanning 3 years—re-creates a family structure. Older students enjoy stature as mentors and role models; younger children feel supported and gain confidence about the challenges ahead. Teachers model respect, loving kindness, and a belief in peacefuconflict resolution.
  • Montessori students enjoy freedom within limits. Working within parameters set by their teachers, students are active participants in deciding what their focus of earning will be. Montessorians understand that internal satisfaction drives the child’s curiosity and interest anresults in joyous learning that is sustainable over a lifetime.

 

  • Students are supported in becoming active seekers of knowledge. Teachers provide environments where students have the freedom and the tools to pursue answers to their own questions.

 

  • Self-correction and self-assessment are an integral part of the Montessori classroom approach. As they mature, students learn to look critically at their work, and become adept at recognizing, correcting, and learning from their errors.

Given the freedom and support to question, to probe deeply, and to make connections, Montessori students become confident, enthusiastic, self-directed learners. They are able to think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly—a skill set for the 21st century. – American Montessori Society

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Research & Articles


Research & Articles


AMI Research Study: Outcomes for Montessori Students

A research study conducted by the Association Montessori Internationale on the performance of Montessori students when they transition to more conventional academic environments. A significant finding in this study is the association between a Montessori education and superior performance in Math and Science. In essence, the study shows that attending a Montessori program from the approximate ages of three to eleven predicts significantly higher mathematics and science standardized test scores in high school.

Forbes: Let's Learn from Montessori

 

"The idea that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel was striking. The example of thousands of Montessori schools is before us. Montessori puts the student at the center. It is proven to work. As noted by Sivadlk it’s working on every inhabited continent, at every economic level. The approach is over 100 years old but the ideas are timeless. The world is finally catching up with Maria Montessori’s insights."

Harvard Business Review: Montessori Builds Innovators

 Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management, says of his Montessori education:

"The main thing I learned there is that the world is a really interesting place, and one that should be explored. Can there be any better foundation for an innovator in training?"

The Wall St Journal: The Montessori Mafia

 

"Ironically, the Montessori educational approach might be the surest route to joining the creative elite, which are so overrepresented by the school’s alumni that one might suspect a Montessori Mafia: Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, videogame pioneer Will Wright, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, not to mention Julia Child and rapper Sean “P.Diddy” Combs."

 

MONTESSORI PROFILES

Well-know Montessori graduates and supporters on the benefits of Montessori education.

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Jeremy Allaire, chairman and chief executive of Brightcove

In an interview in The New York Times, Jeremy Allaire states:

"One of the most important influences early on was being educated in a Montessori setting. The Montessori ethos was very formative for me because it built into me the belief in self-direction, in independent thought, in peer collaboration, in responsibility."

 

Click here to read the full article.  

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Jeff Bezos, founder of amazon.com

Jeff Bezos, founder of amazon.com. Bezos reflects on his early education at a Montessori school until the end of the 3rd grade as essential to who he is today. He was given the confidence and nurturing environment to focus on personal exploration and creativity.

 

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Sergey Brin & Larry Page, co-founders of Google

Sergey Brin talks about his Montessori education, and his first computer at the Breakthrough Learning in the Digital Age conference at Google.

Brin states" I do think I benefited from the Montessori education which in some ways gives the students a lot more freedoms to do things at their own pace, to discover."

Watch the video. 

On the Barbara Walters ABC-TV Special "The 10 Most Fascinating People Of 2004," Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google, remarked that their years of Montessori education was likely a major contributory factor in their success. Ms. Walters asked if the fact that their parents were college professors was a contributor as well. They replied that their attending a Montessori school contributed to to a greater degree than their parents being professors. Montessori education, they felt, taught them be self-directed and become self-starters. It permitted them to learn to think for themselves and gave them freedom to pursue their own interests.

Watch the video. 

 

 

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Julia Child, chef and author

Julia Child attended Montessori school and credits that education (in her book Julia Child and Company)for her love of working with her hands.

Julia child exemplifies creativity, initiative and self confidence.

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Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, music mogul

One of the most successful entertainers in popular music, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, has made Fortune magazine's, "America's 40 Richest Under 40" list more than once.

At age 19, he became one of the youngest directors of A&R records, marking the beginning of one of the most successful and rapid ascents in the history of the entertainment industry.

When musing on his life thus far, he shares, "What I'm most concerned about is finding inner peace and happiness. All that glitters isn't gold."

 

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Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell

Inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel founded the Montessori Education Association in 1913. They also provided financial support directly to Dr. Maria Montessori and helped establish the first Montessori school in Canada and one of the first in the United States.

Thomas Edison, scientist and inventor, helped found a Montessori school.

 

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Katharine Graham, former owner and editor of The Washington Post

Katharine Graham, former owner and editor of The Washington Post, states in her autobiography Personal History"The Montessori method - learning by doing - once again became my stock in trade." 

 

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Dr Steven Hughes, pediatric neuropsychologist and Montessori parent

 

Dr Steven Hughes' entertaining talk "Good at Doing Things" highlights the benefits of a Montessori education. You can view his talk on his website at GoodatDoingThings.com 

Here are a few key points from his presentation:

- Our brains grow when they have "Experimental interactions with the environment", when they engage and explore the world

- More of the brain is dedicated to controlling your hands than any other part of the body

- Human beings learn best through hands-on exploration of the world, especially in childhood

- Montessori's hand-on education philosophy is based on the idea that the hands are the tools the mind uses to discover the world.

You may also watch these short videos of Dr Steven Hughes discussing the following:

Montessori and the future of education

Is there any current research on the benefits of a Montessori education?

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Author and Nobel Prize Winner

Montessori graduate Gabriel Garcia Marquez eloquently describes Montessori’s influence:

"I do not believe there is a method better than Montessori for making children sensitive to the beauties of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life."

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Will Wright, creator of the the Sims video game series

Will Wright creator of the the Sims video game series, the best-selling PC game in history. Wright credits his success to his Montessori education. "Montessori taught me the joy of discovery."

"It's all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. And when kids discover these things on their own, what they learn sticks with them so much more."

Click here to read the full article

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Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia

 

"As a child, Wales was a keen reader with an acute intellectual curiosity and, in what he credits to the influence of the Montessori method on the school’s philosophy of education, 'spent lots of hours pouring [sic] over the Britannicas and World Book Encyclopedias,' " says Mr. Wales' own Wikipedia entry. 

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Yo Yo Ma, cellist

 

Famed cellist Yo Yo Ma was not only Montessori educated, but chose to send his daughter Emily to a Montessori school as well.  “Structure is an absolutely important part of the creative life, and Emily got this from her Montessori experience.” said Yo Yo Ma once in an interview.