Why choose Montessori?
Montessori classrooms promote self-paced, collaborative learning. Montessori nurtures the child’s innate desire to learn, allowing them to develop strong academics, leadership, self-discipline, independence, and responsibility – traits they will carry with them through the rest of their schooling and beyond.
Dr. Maria Montessori began her pioneering work with children over 100 years ago in Rome. After obtaining her medical degree, she was eager to study in education, experimental psychology, and anthropology, helping some of the most impoverished children in her city to thrive. Her model centers around observing the child and providing developmentally appropriate challenges to instill independence in even the youngest of children.
An authentic Montessori environment encompasses the following principles:
- Mixed age groups
A fundamental component of the Montessori philosophy is the multi-age classroom. In a mixed group, children of various ages and backgrounds share their talents and interests. Older children serve as role models and solidify their understanding of their work by giving lessons to younger classmates. Children are exposed to a greater variety of content and are inspired by the work of others. Younger children are embraced by an established classroom community.
- Freedom for children to choose their work and work at their own pace
The Montessori curriculum is deep and broad. Rather than the child conforming to a set program, in which the entire class must complete the same work simultaneously, each child in the Montessori classroom receives the lessons for which he is ready and pursues his own interests. This flexibility allows children the time they need to fully absorb concepts and the ability to pursue work that is both exciting and challenging.
- Freedom to explore, make mistakes, and correct them independently
Montessori materials feature hands-on materials that introduce concepts on a concrete level. These early hands-on experiences allow the child to make the leap to a deep and abstract understanding. Most materials include a control of error, allowing the child to check her own work without relying upon an adult.
- Prepared environments for the needs of each age group
Montessori guides design classrooms to meet children’s physical, cognitive and social needs. Child-sized furniture and hands-on materials engage children in independent work. A beautiful ordered work environment allows them to develop internal order and discipline. Open areas and group tables encourage collaboration and teamwork. In the prepared environment, children not only learn but thrive.
- Stewardship of others, the community, and the environment
Peace education and lessons in Grace and Courtesy are two major components of your child’s Montessori experience. Starting in our youngest programs, children learn to respect the work of their peers, speak calmly without interrupting, and care for the other children, animals, and plants in their classrooms. At the older levels, children learn to resolve arguments with one another around a Peace Table and begin to extend their service and stewardship outwards to the greater Baltimore community and the world.
Becoming a Montessori Guide
Montessori teachers, or guides, embark on a 22-month certification program that outlines Montessori philosophy and theory, each area of the early childhood curriculum, as well as classroom management and communicating with parents. This training provides a deep understanding of child development and the specific needs of each child. A Montessori guide must intimately understand each child’s interests, motivations, abilities, and insecurities. It is through observation of the child that a guide ensures that they meet the classroom community as a whole as well as the individual needs of each child.
Successful completion of the MCMS Early Childhood Teacher Certification Program results in teacher certification by the American Montessori Society. MCMS is affiliated with the American Montessori Society (AMS), accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) and approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
These agencies establish and oversee standards of excellence for Montessori teacher training centers. Accreditation is a voluntary and rigorous process that demonstrates an unparalleled level of excellence in the implementation of Montessori education and continuous improvement. Accredited teacher training centers are held to the highest standards of the authentic educational philosophy and scientifically-based practices of Dr. Maria Montessori.
Experience the Montessori Difference
We invite you to schedule a visit to learn more and see if Montessori is a good fit for you.
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