Inside the Montessori Classroom
Montessori education is a unique approach to learning that is simultaneously applauded and misunderstood by parents and educators alike. Its unique characteristics and success with educating young children have recently brought it back into the limelight of early childhood education. Many of its basic tenets and methods are now being adopted by traditional programs in both public and private schools. So what is Montessori education and what makes it unique from traditional early childhood programs? Why do parents choose Montessori schools for their young children? What does it have to offer any child?
Montessori curriculum is different from traditional classroom curriculum that focuses on children learning the same thing, at the same time, in the same way. Montessori curriculum emphasizes learning as a process that cannot be determined by a child’s age. Instead, learning is a process that is determined by the rate and speed at which a child can acquire one skill before moving on to another skill. This is why it is not uncommon to see mixed-age groupings in Montessori classrooms, where a 2-year old may be in the same classroom setting as a 4-year old, based on developmental ability.