Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Montessori Monday: What is Montessori?

Last week, I wrote about housekeeping and Montessori-at-home and had the idea to share with you lovely readers each week on the blog how I'm incorporating Montessori principles into our life with Coco. But it's not just me who is Montessori trained in our family. J is also a Montessori trained teacher, for children ages 6-12! And my mom is trained for both 3-6 and 6-12. I attended Montessori nursery school from 2-6 years, old as did my brother and sisters. We are definitely a Montessori family, and we all think it's pretty rad. 

Naturally, the best place to start in sharing Montessori with you is to lay out what Montessori is. So, without further ado, let's jump in. 

The short answer is that Montessori is a developmentally-based educational system. Meaning that unlike most pedagogical models, the Montessori method was developed based on how children actually are, rather than imposing a model on children based on an ideal of how they should be. That sets Montessori apart from the rest. Montessori is not affiliated with Waldorf, Emilio Reggio or any other form of alternative education. It stands quite alone. Maria Montessori was Italian, born in 1870, and the first woman to become a doctor in Italy. She was extremely intuitive and applied her talent for scientific observation to children when the only job the powers-that-were would give to a woman was working with the children of the adults in the asylums in Rome. The result was a significant and impacting body of work that has lasted until this day. Did you know that Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin credit their experience in Montessori nursery school for their success? They do!
Montessori pedagogy is unique in that it places a huge focus on internal motivation. Children in Montessori classrooms work separately or in small groups on what interests them. They can spend as much time as they need on a given task. Within a framework of rules, they have a massive amount of freedom to make their own choices. They learn by doing. 

Each week, on Monday, I plan to share with you a piece of our life at home that is done in a Montessori way. If there is something you are curious about, please send me an email and ask! I would love to hear. 

(Top photo from here)

3 comments:

  1. I really love that you are doing this series!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!! I love all the positive feedback. xo

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  2. Montessori schools help so many children. Cool video from the Google founders. I didn't know that!

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