What is Montessori?

The Montessori method is a philosophy and method of education, which emphasises the potential of the young child, and which develops the potential by utilising specially trained teachers and special teaching materials.


Montessori teachers recognise in children a natural curiosity to learn and the Montessori Materials help awaken this desire and channel that curiosity into a learning experience which children enjoy. The Montessori materials help children to understand what they have learnt by associating an abstract concept with a concrete sensorial experience. The Montessori method stresses that children learn at their own pace so that fast learners are not held back and slow learners are not frustrated by their inability to keep up.

The Montessori classroom offers unique educational didactic (self teaching) materials, which are manipulated by the children in the classroom. They accommodate many levels of ability. They aid this growth by providing stimuli that captures the child's attention and initiates a process of concentration. Children uses the materials provided to develop co-ordination, attention to details and good working habits. When the environment offers materials that polarise the children, the teacher is then able to give the freedom needed for healthy development.

In a true Montessori school you will find independent children who are encouraged not only to do things for themselves but also to think for themselves. You will find children who have learnt how to explore and solve problems for themselves. Most importantly you will see small children who are often perceived as only being aware of their own needs helping each other and who, without being asked to, will put things away and perform acts of kindness purely to benefit the group as a whole. So how does this all come about? What exactly is Montessori? What should you be looking for if you are looking for true Montessori and what kind of guarantees are there that what you are paying for is the real thing?

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