What is the purpose of a Montessori Education?
When cultivating a child’s natural desire to learn, you help them reach their full potential. In the Montessori classroom this objective is approached in two ways: first, by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by his or her own choice rather than by being forced; and, second, by helping children to perfect all their natural tools for learning. The Montessori materials have this dual long-range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child.

Could you explain Montessori’s theory of “ Sensitive Periods”?
Another observation of Dr. Montessori’s, which has been reinforced by modern research, is the importance of the sensitive periods for early learning. These are periods of intense fascinations for learning a particular characteristic or skill, such as going up and down steps, putting things in order, counting, or reading. It is easier for the child to learn a particular skill during the corresponding sensitive period than at any other time in her life. The Montessori classroom takes advantage of this fact by allowing the child freedom to select activities which correspond to their own periods of interest.

At what age is it best to begin a Montessori Education?
Although entrance age varies in individual schools, a child can usually enter a Montessori classroom between the ages of two and one half and four, depending on when they can be happy and comfortable in a classroom situation. They will begin the simplest exercises based on activities which all children enjoy. The equipment which they use at three and four will help them to develop the concentration, coordination and working habits necessary for the more advanced exercises they will perform at five and six. The entire program of learning is purposefully structured. Therefore, optimum results cannot be expected for a child who misses the early years of this cycle, or for one who is withdrawn before they finish the basic materials described here.

Why mixed age groups?
If classroom equipment is to be challenging enough to provoke a learning response, it must be properly matched to the standard which an individual child has already developed in their past experience. This experience is so varied that the most satisfying choice can usually offer them the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of graded materials. The child can grow as their interests lead them through one level of complexity to another. Having children ages three through six together permits the younger children to learn by example from the older children, and the older ones an opportunity to reinforce their own knowledge,become leaders, and grow in self esteem by helping the younger ones.

How can you accommodate the different abilities in your Montessori Classroom?
Through teacher observations and materials that are designed to stimulate, change and grow with the children, a variety of abilities are accommodated. A younger child may work for many weeks on the same piece of equipment without slowing the other members of the class. Advanced children in the same room can move from one piece of equipment to another very quickly, thus avoiding the boredom of waiting for other members of the class to catch up. The children with a high level of ability are constantly challenged by the wide variety of materials and their many uses.
It is a well-established fact that young children mature at very different rates and their periods of readiness for academic subjects vary a great deal. Because interest is stimulated and the materials are at hand whenever a child is ready, academics can begin at an early age. However, very early learning is not the norm, nor was it ever Dr. Montessori’s objective. Her ideal was only that the learning experience should occur naturally and joyfully at the proper moment for each individual child. “It is true, we cannot make a genius”, Dr. Montessori once wrote, “we can only give each individual the chance to fulfill their potential possibilities to become an independent, secure and balanced human being”.

How are the children’s social needs met?
A classroom of Montessori children is a joy to watch. As the children’s sense of pride in their work develops, so does their self-esteem and confidence. The children interact continuously, there is a community feeling of respect, love and cooperation among the children and the teachers.

What is your discipline policy?

The Montessori approach to development states, “Discipline is not a fact, but a way”. This philosophy supports the belief that “true” discipline comes from within and is born as a result of the child’s developing inner growth. The delicate balance of freedom and structure of the Montessori doctrine allows the child to reveal his or her progression of inner self-discipline. Through order, self control and by using practical problem solving skills, the child is able to achieve independence and take responsibility for his or her own actions. Disciplinary measures are not practices that are performed on the child, nor are they exercises intended to control the child’s behavior. Rather, discipline is viewed as a process that evolves. The role of the teacher is to guide this evolution while supporting the child through his or her growth process. This development continues until the child is comfortable and prepared to understand the consequences of his or her behavior. Only through informed, practiced behavior can the child realize and grow to their fullest potential.

Our Montessori classrooms have only one rule: to take care and be respectful of everyone and everything. If the rule were to be practiced by everyone, it would make for a more harmonious world. Our teachers at Doughty Montessori are aware of the importance of self-discipline. They have robust enthusiasm for learning, a deep respect for all life, kindness, humor, gentleness and patience. The nature of the Montessori materials and activities, along with the freedom of the prepared environment, help the child to realize and develop his or her sense of self-direction, independence, confidence, cooperation and self-control.

What happens after Montessori?
Many parents ask how their child can make a successful transfer from Montessori to a traditional school. The habits and skills, which a child develops in a Montessori class, are good for a lifetime. They will help them to work more efficiently, to observe more carefully and to concentrate more effectively, no matter where they go. If they are in a stimulating environment, whether at home or at school, their self-education - which is the only real education - will continue.


HomeAbout Us CurriculumParent FeedbackFAQsContact

Copyright © 2004 Doughty Montessori School.