Here are 7 things you should know -- and can tell your friends when they ask!
What the choices are, how they are presented, and with what freedoms and limits—that’s where it gets really interesting. But children choosing their own work is the central premise of Montessori education.
2. Montessori isn’t religious, it isn’t just for gifted children, and it isn’t just for the wealthy.
Montessori herself was Catholic, but Montessori education is secular. Montessori is about meeting children where they are, so it’s for all children. Montessori started out with “special needs” children and poor children, and serves children of all backgrounds and conditions.
3. Montessori happens in public and private schools, all over the world.
Montessori is the leading alternative pedagogy and operates in the U.S. in more than 500 public schools and thousands of private schools, and in tens of thousands of schools worldwide.
4. Montessori has mixed-age classrooms, hands-on materials, and students learning at their own pace.
Montessori pioneered many educational innovations which later became widely known, such as mixed-age classrooms, manipulatives, and student-guided learning, as well as child-sized furniture, phonics, scaffolding, student agency, learning progression, and many more.
5. Montessori is observation- and evidence-based.
Maria Montessori was a scientist and a medical doctor. She experimented, and she refined and developed her method throughout her lifetime. Modern brain and education research validate her work.
6. The best way to understand Montessori is to visit a school and see it in action.
If you want to know more about Montessori, many schools will let you visit a classroom for a short observation. There’s some good video available on the internet as well, but seeing it in person is best.
7. Montessori is education for peace.
Montessori famously said: “Preventing war is the work of politicians. Establishing peace is the work of education.” Montessori educators believe that human beings allowed to develop to their full potential are the key to a peaceful future.