Maria Montessori is one of the most influential names in the history of early childhood education!
Maria Montessori was born August 31st, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy. Educated in Rome, Maria became one of Italy’s first ever female physicians and graduated from the University of Rome’s medical program, focussing on psychiatry. However during this time she also developed a keen interest in pedagogy, education and educational theory which would help her create an innovative way of teaching young children and would also spur her to open up the first ever Montessori school called the Casa dei Bambini or Children’s House. Maria is famous for having developed a school of thought and method of teaching, named after her, whose main tenets centre around a young child’s natural curiosity and inclination to learn.
This style of teaching in early childhood became known as the Montessori Method and is a style of teaching that focusses on auto-education or a child’s innate intrigue in self-taught learning. Within the Montessori Method, children are given the space and resources to learn at their own pace and in ways which are natural and less structured. With the ability to have up to three grade levels within a single classroom, Maria Montessori incorporated this aspect of integration into the Montessori Method, after making the observation that children can learn from each other and can be taught by each other just as easily as adults teach children.
Maria observed that children have a natural desire to learn, and she designed her classrooms and materials to facilitate this process. Maria’s work has had a lasting impact on the field of early childhood education. Today, there are thousands of Montessori schools in over 100 countries, educating millions of children. Maria’s philosophy of education stresses the importance of hands-on learning, respect for individual differences, and a prepared child sized environment. These ideas are now widely used in Early Childhood settings all over the world. Maria Montessori was truly a pioneer in her field, and her legacy continues to influence educators today.
About the Montessori Method
One of the most important aspects of Montessori education is the prepared environment. The prepared environment is a carefully designed space that meets the needs of the children and allows them to explore and learn at their own pace. The materials in the environment are specially selected to engage the senses and encourage learning. Montessori classrooms are typically filled with colourful, inviting materials that invite exploration.
The Montessori Method is based on the belief that children are naturally curious and have an innate desire to learn. Maria believed that if we provide children with a stimulating environment and the opportunity to explore their surroundings, they will develop into competent, confident learners. The Montessori method relies heavily on hands-on learning experiences. Children are encouraged to touch, manipulate, and experiment with materials in order to gain a deeper understanding of the world around them.
Interesting things to consider about Montessori:
Class sizes are often large and are well organized
Montessori materials are used throughout the classroom
Classes are often calm and quiet
Classes often include mixed age groups of up to 3 grade /age levels
Montessori educators often hold a college degree and Montessori training as well as early childhood education training when they are working with young children
There is a difference between authentic Montessori and Montessori-inspired
Classes focus on a child’s natural learning process and innate curiosity to educate itself
To this day Montessori schools and early childhood education centres and facilities are very popular for their child-centered approach to learning.
Cool Things About Montessori
The Montessori method has been in use for over a hundred years.
In 2020 it was 150 years since the birth of Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori opened the first Montessori school called the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House—in Rome on January 6, 1907.
There are over 22,000 Montessori schools across 110 countries around the world.
Montessori is one of the fastest growing forms of education in the world.
What are some of the benefits of the Montessori Method?
The Montessori Method is an educational approach that is based on the belief that children are naturally curious and eager to learn. This approach emphasizes hands-on learning and allows children to move at their own pace. As a result, Montessori classrooms are often filled with materials that encourage exploration and discovery. The Montessori Method has been shown to have numerous benefits, including improved academic achievement, social skills, and creative thinking. In addition, the Montessori Method has been found to be particularly beneficial for those with exceptional needs or who are considered to be at-risk. As the world becomes increasingly complex, the ability to think creatively and outside of the box will become increasingly valuable.
Montessori is unique in its focus on the individual child. Maria believed that each child is a unique individual with different strengths, interests, and needs. She designed her classrooms and materials to meet the needs of each individual child. In a Montessori classroom, you will often see children working at different levels and at their own pace. This allows each child to learn according to his or her own abilities and interests.
The Legacy of Dr. Maria Montessori
The effect Maria Montessori has had on and continues to have on ECE programs and schools throughout Canada and across the globe is unprecedented and growing in popularity. And although Montessori died in May 6th, 1952 she left behind a legacy so great in the field and study of ECE that the Montessori name has not only become a household name in the field of ECE, but a symbol by which many people associate good quality early childhood education.
Without question, the legacy of Dr. Maria Montessori has had a lasting impact on the field of Early Childhood Education. Maria’s philosophy of education stresses the importance of hands-on learning, respect for the individual child and the capabilities of young children. These ideas are now widely used in Early Childhood settings all over the world. Maria Montessori was truly a pioneer in her field, and her legacy continues to influence educators today.
Other Posts We Have Written About Montessori
Click here to access several different videos on Montessori education.
Check Out Our ECE Workshops Connected to Montessori!
Online ECE Workshop: It’s Not About Easy — It’s About Following The Child!
Our online ECE workshop called “It’s not about easy–it’s about following the child” has been developed by 45 Conversations to support early childhood educators in easily obtaining their professional development hours. This workshop incorporates a lot of early learning practices based on the Montessori method. For example learners will:
- Understand the concept of “following the child” and how it relates to self-directed learning.
- Assess their own personal beliefs and philosophies to determine how those beliefs can impact the children they care for, their team, and the environment they want to create.
- Understand the benefits of supporting self-direction and independence in young children within early learning and care environments.
- Identify five ways they can begin supporting self-direction and independence with the young children in their care.
- Create a learning environment that puts child self-directed independence at the forefront.
You can join this workshop now and begin learning about key elements of Maria Montessori right away. Register today!
Online ECE Workshop: Implementing a Montessori-Inspired Approach
Our online ECE workshop called “Implementing a Montessori-Inspired Approach” provides an excellent overview of Montessori and the ways you can go about establishing a Montessori-Inspired approach in your program. This ECE Workshop covers:
- Part 1 – Introduction to Dr. Maria Montessori and the Montessori Method of Education
- Part 2 – Understanding the Difference Between the Montessori Method of Education and a Montessori-inspired Approach
- Part 3 – Implementing a Montessori-inspired Approach
- Part 4 – 8 – Detailed Overview of 5 Montessori-Inspired Actions You Can Take to Begin Implementing a Montessori-inspired Approach Right Away
- Part 9 – Assess Your Personal and Professional Alignment with the Montessori-inspired Approach
- Part 10 – Workshop Completion and Request Your Professional Development Certificate
Visit the registration page to learn more and to begin today!
Last Update: 2022