What Makes Montessori Different

Characteristics of an Authentic Montessori School
These characteristics are the foundation of Bloomfield Maples Montessori
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Child-centered Environment: The focus in the Montessori setting should be on children’s learning rather than the teachers’ teaching. The students will work and be given lessons individually or in small group settings.


The Montessori Teacher: The Montessori Teacher is firm but empathetic. She responds in a caring manner to children’s feelings while setting clear and consistent limits. She is a trained observer of children’s learning. These observations lead the teacher to know when to change, reinforce or give a fresh lesson. The Montessori teacher knows her role is not to teach but to inspire, mentor and facilitate the learning process. She is also very aware that children learn in many different ways and at their own pace and that she is to “follow the child” adjusting her timetable to meet the needs of the individual.

A well prepared Environment: The environment should meet the needs, interests and abilities of the children in the class. There should be concrete models that bring abstract concepts to life. This allows the students to learn with much deeper understanding.

Active learning: Any authentic Montessori school will have children moving about freely. However their freedom always exists within carefully defined limits. They are often seen selecting work that captures their interest and attention. The teachers strive to challenge their interest and inquiry. The student will continue to work with materials until they can teach a younger student, a sign of true mastery of a skill.

Community of Cooperation and Collaboration, rather than Competition: Montessori children are encouraged to treat one another with kindness and respect. The mixed age group allows children to learn at their own pace. As the children grow older and more capable, they assume a greater role emotionally, socially and academically. This social community is consciously designed to cultivate the child’s sense of independence, self-respect, love of peace and passion for self-chosen work done well.

Universal Values: Montessori not only teaches children appropriate patterns of polite behavior but also basic universal values. These include self-respect, acceptance of the uniqueness and dignity of each person we meet, kindness, empathy, and individual responsibility. Montessori schools are to a large degree international representing ethnic diversity. The curriculum is international in its heritage and focus and it directly seeks to promote a global perspective.

*Excerpts taken from The Authentic American Montessori School: A Guide to Self-Study, Evaluation and Accreditation of American Schools Committed to Montessori Education……. by Dr. Nancy McCormick Rambusch and Dr. John Stoops

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