Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A General Description of Montessori Education

Montessori Education is characterized by multi-age classrooms, a special set of educational materials, student-chosen work in long time blocks, a collaborative environment with student mentors, absence of grades and tests, and individual and small group instruction in academic and social skills. (Science Magazine, September 29, 2006).

Montessori is an approach to education as well as a method. As an approach, in our particular context of moral education, there is plenty of room for adding new content to the Montessori Curriculum; and as a method, it is a framework for auto-education and discovery for children of the Montessori Houses.

Although the Montessori system of education has been in existence for over 100 years and still thriving in many parts of the world, it is in its infancy in our region. It makes our task of establishing a true Montessori school rather difficult.

It takes a lot of effort and understanding from the part of all stakeholders .

There are three major components to a Montessori Environment: Montessori materials, Montessori Adult or Directress, and the social life in the classroom.

The most common features shared by the Montessori Schools worldwide are:
  1. Full range of Montessori learning materials arranged in prescribed order.
  2. Montessori Adult trained in Montessori theory and practice.
  3. A class size of 24-35 children. It is interesting to note that a much lesser ratio of Adult and Children is not recommended for a Montessori Classroom as this will negatively affect the learning environment.
  4. Vertical grouping. Unlike the traditional classroom, children enter into Montessori Primary at the age of 3 and leaves at the age of 6. So, one-third of the children in a Montessori Classroom will be 3-year olds, one-third 4-year olds, and the final one-third 5-year olds.
  5. Montessori Schools follow a 3-hour uninterrupted work cycle.
  6. Free choice for children.
  7. A minimum of direct teaching and indirect preparation is the norm. 

This is a post in the making:)

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