The Prepared environment – In order for self directed learning to take place, the whole learning environment- classroom, materials, and social setting/atmosphere – must be supportive of the child. The teacher provides the necessary resources, including opportunities for children to function in a safe and positive environment. Together, the teacher and child form a relationship based on trust and respect that fosters self confidence and a willingness to try new things.
The Montessori materials – Dr. Montessori’s observations of the kinds of things which children enjoy, and go back to repeatedly, led her to design a number of multi- sensory, sequential, and self correcting materials to facilitate learning.
The teacher- Originally called a “directress”, the Montessori teacher functions as a designer of the environment, resource person, role model, demonstrator, record- keeper and meticulous observer of each child’s behavior and growth. The teacher facilitates learning. Extensive training is required for a Montessori credential, including a year’s student teaching under supervision – is specialized for the age group with which a teacher will work, i.e. infant and toddler, pre-primary, primary, elementary level.
Benefits Of The Montessori Method
Maria Montessori saw much need for reform in the educational system of her day, just as we see the same need for reform in our educational system today. Her goal was to develop the whole personality of the child, and her system is based on a strong belief in the spontaneous working of the human intellect. Her three primary principles are observation, individual liberty, and preparation of the environment. These principles and their various practical expressions with children are gradually becoming part of our educational system. Modern kindergarten classrooms use the child sized furniture and didactic materials first introduced by Montessori. Such current concepts as individualized learning and readiness programs, manipulative learning, upgraded classes, combined age groups, team teaching, and open classrooms reflect many of her early insights. Parents of young children today want to feel safe and secure in leaving their children in an environment that provides for all of their academic, social and emotional needs. A Montessori environment does meet all of the above needs, but it also teaches children an “I can do it” attitude that will ensure their future success in all aspects of their life. Below are some characteristics and benefits of the Montessori Method: