Montessori education is named after its founder, Maria Montessori, an Italian scientist, medical doctor, and educator. First developed with low-income and special needs children in 1907, Montessori is practiced in public and private schools all over the world, serving children from birth to age eighteen.
There are more than 2,500 Montessori schools in the U.S. alone, including more than 500 public programs.
Montessori is about inspiring learning
Conventional education is about teaching children content and skills. Montessori education is about supporting children’s development. Maria Montessori observed children’s innate drive to explore and understand the world around them, and she studied human development to learn how to best support children’s natural growth. Montessori education features:
- a birth-to-adulthood model of human development
- a pedagogical approach that supports children’s learning and growth
- lessons and materials that inspire engagement, independent work, and deep learning
Montessori teaching is different
Montessori works differently from conventional teaching. Montessori classrooms feature:
- Teachers with specialized Montessori training
- Mixed-age classrooms, so students stay with one teacher for three years
- Montessori materials for learning and fostering independence
- Two to three-hour work periods for deep exploration
- A comprehensive yet open-ended curriculum
- Education that focuses on the whole child
Montessori is for all children
Maria Montessori worked with low-income working-class families and special needs children from the very start. With more than 500 public programs in the U.S., Montessori is an inherently inclusive, adaptive approach that proven to help all children develop crucial literacy, numeracy, critical thinking, social-emotional, and executive function skills for life.