WHAT IS THE MONTESSORI METHOD AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
It is called an indirect teaching method because it neither imposes on the child nor does it abandon him in total free play.
Instead it provides a carefully planned and structured environment in which the child can grow and learn in a natural way with the best possible opportunities for reaching his/her maximum individual potential.
Each Montessori class operates on the principle of freedom within limits. The program has its set of ground rules which differ from age to age, but is always based on core Montessori beliefs – respect for each other and for the environment.
In a Montessori classroom there is a special atmosphere of cheerful orderliness, calmness and purposeful work. It is not only a place for individual learning, but also a vibrant community of children, where the child learns to interact socially in many ways. It is an environment that maintains a balance between the need of each individual to have sufficient freedom to grow and develop towards independence and the necessity for order and harmony within the group.
Children are free to work at their own pace with materials they have chosen, either alone or with others. The directress relies on observations of the children to determine which new activities and materials to introduce to an individual child or to a group. The aim is to encourage active, self-directed learning and to strike a balance of individual mastery with small group collaboration within the whole group community.