Maria Montessori and the Montessori Method

Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator, philosopher and humanitarian who are best known for her philosophy and education of children from birth to adolescence. She introduced concepts and ideas of education that were way ahead of her times.

On January 6, 1906, Maria Montessori opened up the first Casa dei Bambini, Children’s House, in San Lorenzo, Italy. This is where she developed the method of education, which came to be known as the Montessori Method. This is where she observed the children work and learn from their surroundings as well as from the materials presented to them. Her educational method is in use today in a number of public as well as private schools throughout the world.

Dr. Montessori gave the world a scientific method, practical and tested, for bringing forth the very best in young human beings.  She taught adults how to respect individual differences, and to emphasize social interaction and the education of the whole personality rather than the teaching of a specific body of knowledge.

Montessori FAQ

  • What is the Montessori Method?

Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician, founded Montessori education in 1907. She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children’s learning processes. Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Montessori designed a “prepared environment” in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. Now, nearly a century after Maria Montessori’s first casa dei bambini (“children’s house”) in Rome, Montessori education is found all over the world, spanning ages from birth to adolescence.

Visitors are often amazed at the discipline and calm that prevails in a Montessori classroom. This discipline is self imposed by the child who has discovered their love for work and who feel relaxed and at-home in a teacher-created environment. The Montessori method assists the child in sharpening the powers of observation and in developing the initiative to learn.

  • What is a Montessori classroom?

The Montessori classroom is an environment specially created for the child. Every material in the class starting from the chairs to the shelves are designed keeping the child’s size in mind. Montessori classrooms provide freedom within the limits, encouraging the child to explore and grow happily. The classroom is divided into different groups of Math, Language, Sensorial, Practical Life and Cultural subjects.

  • What is the difference between Montessori and Traditional education?

The Montessori Method of teaching emphasize on social and cognitive development rather than rote learning. The child learns through hands on experience as opposed to learning from books. The Montessori materials are designed keeping the child’s all round development in mind unlike the traditional school. Environment and method encourage internal discipline which is self imposed unlike the traditional school where the teachers are the primary enforcer of external discipline. The classrooms in a Montessori school are divided into multi level age groups where the elder child is encouraged to assist the younger ones. Traditional schools have classrooms based on strict age limits.

  • What ages does the Montessori system serve?
  1. Toddlers class :           18 months to 2.5 yrs
  2. Transition class:           2.5 yrs  to  3.5yrs
  3. Primary class:                3.5 yrs  to  6yrs
  4. Elementary class:          6  yrs    to  9yrs
  • What is the role of a Montessori teacher?

The Montessori teacher is a mother substitute. She carefully plans the environment in the best interest of the children and assists children as they master one activity and moves on to the new one. She helps them realize the value of inner discipline and observes their potential. She is a passive observer allowing the child to learn from their errors while working with the materials and intervenes only when the child asks for her help.

  • How are parents involved in the Montessori education program?

Watters Montessori Academy encourages parent involvement all through the school year. Parents are welcomed to participate in conferences, observations, material preparation and in special celebrations. Watters Montessori believes that the family is the primary educator of the child. Keeping this is mind we invite you to be an active aide in the optimal development of the child.

The Montessori Teacher

The role of a Montessori teacher is one of guide and observer, whose ultimate goal is to intervene less and less as the child develops. The teacher builds an atmosphere of calm, order and joy in the classroom and encourages the children in all their efforts, thus promoting self-confidence and discipline. With the younger students at each level, the teacher is more active, demonstrating the use of materials and presenting activities based on an assessment of the child’s needs. Knowing when to observe and when, and how much, to intervene is a skill the Montessori teacher develops during a rigorous, specialized course of training at training centers throughout the world.

Watters Montessori Academy is proud to present a group of excellent Montessori teachers. All our teachers are Montessori trained with prior work experience. They are hard-working, patient, caring and devoted towards the philosophy of Montessori education. Our staff believes in parent <> teacher coordination and exchange of ideas.