Preschool Academics

Montessori Enriched Environment

The Montessori Learning Environment


A Child-Centered Environment: The focus of activity in the Montessori setting is on children’s learning, not on teachers’ teaching. Generally student will work individually or in small, self-selected groups. There will be very few whole group lessons.

A Responsive Prepared Environment: The environment should be designed to meet the needs, interests, abilities, and development of the children in the class. The teachers should design and adapt the environment with this community of children in mind, rapidly modifying the selection of educational materials available, the physical layout, and the tone of the class to best fit the ever changing needs of the children.

A Focus on Individual Progress and Development: Within a Montessori program, children progress at the own pace, moving on to the next step in each area of learning as they are ready. While the child lives within a larger community of children, each student is viewed as a universe of one.


Montessori Learning Activities


Hands On Learning : In Montessori, students rarely learn from texts or workbooks. In all cases, direct personal hands-on contact with either real things under study or with concrete models that bring abstract concepts to life allow children to learn with much deeper understanding.

Spontaneous Activity : It is natural for children to wiggle, touch things, and explore the world around them. Any true Montessori environment encourages children to move about freely, within reasonable limits of appropriate behavior. Much of the time they select work that captures their interest and attention, although teachers also strive to draw their attention and capture their interest in new challenges and areas of inquiry. And even within this atmosphere of spontaneous activity, students do eventually have to master the basic skills of their culture, even if they would prefer to avoid them.

Active Learning : In Montessori classrooms, children not only select their own work most of the time, but also continue to work with tasks, returning to continue their work over many weeks or months, until finally the work is “so easy for them” that they can teach it to younger children. This is one of many ways that Montessori educators use to confirm that students have reached mastery of each skill.

Self-directed Activity : One of Montessori’s key concepts is the idea that children are driven by their desire to become independent and competent beings in the world to learn new things and master new skills. For this reason, outside rewards to create external motivation are both unnecessary and potentially can lead to passive adults who are dependent on others for everything from their self-image to permission to follow their dreams. In the process of making independent choices and exploring concepts largely on their own, Montessori children construct their own sense of individual identity and right and wrong.

Freedom Within Limits : Montessori children enjoy considerable freedom of movement and choice, however their freedom always exists within carefully defined limits on the range of their behavior. They are free to do anything appropriate to the ground rules of the community, but redirected promptly and firmly if they cross over the line.

Intrinsic motivation to learn : In Montessori programs, children do not work for grades or external rewards, nor do they simply complete assignments given them by their teachers. Children learn because they are interested in things, and because all children share a desire to become competent and independent human beings.

Montessori’s Communities of Learners
Mixed age groups: Montessori classrooms gather together children of two, three, or more age levels into a family group. Children remain together for several years, with only the oldest students moving on to the next class at year’s end.
A Family Setting: Montessori classrooms are communities of children and adults. As children grow older and more capable, they assume a great role in helping to care for the environment and meet the needs of younger children in the class. The focus is less on the teachers and more on the entire community of children and adults, much like one finds in a real family.
Cooperation and Collaboration, Rather Than Competition: Montessori children are encouraged to treat one another with kindness and respect. Insults and shunning behavior tends to be much more rare. Instead we normally find children who have a great fondness for one another, and who are free from the one-up-manship and needless interpersonal competition for attention and prestige because children learn at their own pace, and teachers refrain from comparing students against one another.

To Awaken and Nurture the Human Spirit
The Child As A Spiritual Being: Montessori saw children as far more than simply scholars. In her view, each child is a full and complete human being, the mother or father of the adult man or woman she will become. Even when very young, the child shares with the rest of humanity hopes, dreams, and fears, emotions, and longing. From her perspective, this goes beyond mental health to the very core of one’s inner spiritual life. Montessori consciously designs social communities and educational experiences that cultivate the child’s sense of independence, self-respect, love of peace, passion for self-chosen work done well, and ability to respect and celebrate the individual spirit within people of all ages and the value of all life.

Teachers must be knowledgeable in the child and the materials to know what is appropriate for the child at their stage in learning and to introduce them to the materials that are best suited for them. Montessori children are exposed to a more positive approach to learning through self-paced challenges and accomplishments. Without being compared to others, the child thrives and becomes increasingly motivated. When done correctly, the Montessori Method instills confidence, self-discipline and a positive attitude toward learning.

There are 5 basic areas of Montessori:

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