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Montessori Education for Children

Sep 9, 2008
It is a tremendous tribute to Dr. Montessori that Montessori education methods and "Montessori Schools" have become widely accepted the world over in the field of education of small children. Dr. Maria Montessori developed her concepts about educational methods for children in the late 19th century while Maria Montessori was studying educational environment of children with physical and mental disabilities. Very few of us of aware of this.

Montessori schools teach the same subjects as covered by preschool curriculum but by Montessori approach. Dr. Montessori's approach to children's education is based upon the concept that children do not develop and think the way adults do and that children choose from among the resources and materials available to them and set direction to their own learning. The teacher's role is to provide suitable material to children and then remain a "silent presence" in the classroom.

The Montessori learning method is based on the observation and understanding that a child's mind up to the age of six has tremendous capacity to assimilate and that he is strongly driven by an urge to understand and perfect his skills within his environment. Young children have the ability to learn by repetitious activities within specific sensitive periods; for example, his incessant babbling, which to us is quite incomprehensible, is his language practice; it leads to his language competence.

Children between the toddler and the elementary school stages, which is commonly at an age of around five or six, can assimilate and learn quickly, and they have a strong interest and curiosity in their surroundings. Naturally they are most suited to receive education. Age-wise they are not yet fit for regular elementary education; however, Montessori learning methods are quite suitable for this condition.

Montessori education methods are applied mainly in preschool and elementary school settings. Kindergarten is another form of schooling that is also popular as a preschool system. It provides the transition from the home atmosphere to the formal schooling. Children are taught to develop basic skills through play and they are taught social interaction. Children of age groups of three and four enroll into Pre K (pre-kindergarten) school which provides an environment very similar to that provided by Montessori schools.

Montessori education has been most popular in USA; there are about 4,000 Montessori schools in the USA. Montessori education is a part of the preschool education in America. With about 8,000 Montessori schools the world over, you can find Montessori schools almost anywhere in the world

Children of preschool age were the focus of Dr. Montessori's initial work. In later years she along with her son took up research in adapting her approach to elementary schools also. Towards the end of her life she described how her teaching methods could be applied to further educational levels such as secondary schooling and colleges.

"Montessori" is not a trade mark. There are many schools that may misrepresent by using the name of Montessori school; parents always need to be cautious in enrolling their children in Montessori school.
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