What is the Montessori method?
The Montessori method has twelve points:
- It is based on years of patient observation of child nature.
- It has proved itself of universal application. Within a single generation, it has been tried with complete success with children of almost every nation. Race, color, climate, nationality, social rank, and type of civilization- all these make no difference to its successful application.
- It has revealed the child as a lover of work, intellectual work, spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.
- It is based on the child’s imperious need to learn by doing. At each stage in a child’s mental growth, corresponding occupations are provided by means of which each child develops his/her faculties.
- While it offers the child maximum spontaneity, it nevertheless enables him/her to reach the same, or even higher, level of scholastic attainment as under the old system.
- It does away with the necessity of coercion by means of rewards and punishments and achieves an active discipline that originates with the child and is not imposed from without.
- It is based upon a profound respect for the child’s personality and removes from the child and preponderating influence of the adult, leaving him/her room to grow in biological independence. The child is allowed a large measure of liberty (not license) which forms the basis of real discipline.
- It enables the teacher to deal with each child individually in each subject, and thus guide the child according to his/her individual requirements.
- Each child works at his/her own pace. In addition, each child may further explore an area of interest in depth. Since there are no milestones to keep pace with, the child is free to investigate and learn at his/her unique rate.
- It does away with the competitive spirit and its negative results. More than this, at every turn it presents endless opportunities among the children for mutual help- which is joyfully given and gratefully received.
- Since the child works from his/her own free choice, without competition and coercion, he/she is freed from danger of overstrain and feelings of inferiority.
- Finally, the Montessori method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely his/her intellectual faculties but also his powers of deliberation, initiative, and independent choice with their emotional complements. By living as a free member of a real social community, the child is trained in those fundamental social qualities that form the basis for good citizenship.