Montessori is an approach to education with the fundamental belief that a child learns best within a social environment which supports and respects each individual’s unique development. Dr. Maria Montessori, the creator of the “The Montessori Method of Education”, based this approach on her scientific observations of young children’s behavior. She was one of the first female physicians to graduate from the University of Rome. She opened her first school based on her observations that young children learn best in a homelike setting, filled with developmentally appropriate materials that provide experiences contributing to the growth of self-motivated, independent learners. She carried her message throughout the world, including the United States, as early as 1912.
Montessori is not a franchise, each school is independently owned and operated. It is important to choose a school that has Montessori teacher credentials from a MACTE accredited program. These programs are well respected and are recognized by the American Montessori Society. Schools that are affiliated with the American Montessori Society have to meet certain criteria.
Since Montessori is not a franchise and is a word in the public domain, it is possible for any individual or institution to claim to be Montessori. An authentic Montessori school must have these basic characteristics at all levels:
- Teachers credentialed from a MACTE accredited Montessori Program.
- Authentic Montessori does not mix with other philosophies.
- Classrooms must have multi-aged (3 year) groupings. Kindergarten is not a separate program, rather the most important year of the 3 year cycle in the Primary Program.
- A diverse set of Montessori materials, activities and experiences designed to foster physical, intellectual, creative and social independence.
- A schedule which allows large blocks of time to problem-solve, to see connections in knowledge and to create new ideas.
- A classroom atmosphere which encourages social interaction for cooperative learning, peer teaching and emotional development.
All children handle transitions differently. We are committed in supporting your child’s needs as they normalize into or out of a program.
The multi-year (3 yr) span in each class is a very important part of the Montessori philosophy. Experienced children share what they have learned while reinforcing their own learning and leadership skills. Younger children learn from their older peers by observation.
Our School requires the Head Teacher in each classroom to hold a MACTE Montessori Diploma (Montessori Diploma accepted by the American Montessori Society) as well as a 4 yr Bachelor’s Degree. Some classrooms have a second Montessori certified teacher or a Montessori intern as a Co-Teacher or Assistant.