What is Montessori? 5 Main Points

Pretty much anyone reading this article knows the answer to that question is not a simple one.

Are you new to Montessori? Have you found that anytime you ask the question you are amazed by the utter depth of the answers?

Have you had a child enrolled in Montessori for several years? Do people ask you to describe it and you find yourself unable to summarize it into a brief conversation?

You’re not alone. It’s challenging to squeeze an entire philosophy into a five-minute conversation.

Today, we’re giving it a try anyway, with what we feel are five main points that summarize the essence of Montessori education.

1. Montessori considers human development and aims to meet people where they are.

Human development lies at the core of Montessori. Dr. Montessori spent years observing children and their behaviors, noted their individuality and variety, then categorized and summarized typical growth patterns. She called these the planes of development, and they span across the first 24 years of life.

Does everyone develop at different rates? Of course. Are there patterns that are seen in the development of most children? Absolutely. By developing a deep understanding of human development Montessori was able to create an entire educational system that honored children’s needs at different times in their lives. From the age groupings to the materials used, the physical environment and the very manner in which lessons are presented: everything is intentional. Everything is about meeting the child where they are in order to best support their needs.

2. Instead of delivering standardized information, Montessori hopes to guide students as they travel their path themselves.

You will never see a Montessori guide standing at a chalkboard at the front