What is Montessori Education?
POSTED ON09 Jan 2019
We’ve heard it before in mom-groups on social media and on the websites of some of the top schools, but what really is Montessori education?
‘Montessori’ is one of the many methods of education, which focuses on hands-on learning, wherein the child is the center of the classroom, and is encouraged to make decisions and learn at their own pace.
Developed by the first woman to graduate with a medical degree in Italy, Dr. Maria Montessori created the educational method that bears her name through a scientific approach. Dr. Montessori emphasized children’s love for play and their natural drive to work as a means of development, concluding that children need opportunities to learn, and that a child’s biggest task is to grow into an adult.
She said, “Education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences upon the environment”.
In Montessori classrooms, children are encouraged to work collaboratively and individually to truly experience what they learn. Passively sitting and taking in information is discouraged. Instead, it caters to children’s different personalities, interests and needs, encouraging collaboration, and diffusing negative competitiveness.
The Montessori method also focuses on the following;
- Personalized learning. Teachers are encouraged to provide individual attention to each student, such that each child’s needs are addressed.
- Attractive learning materials. Learning tools are organized in an attractive manner for children, allowing them to switch between the materials during their uninterrupted learning sessions. Addedly, because Montessori education is a hands-on approach to learning, materials are designed beautifully for children to touch, explore and learn from.
- Natural development. Children are encouraged to develop naturally, and are introduced to challenging lessons based on their own unique interests, abilities, physical development and more. Therefore, the teacher’s role is to guide, rather than passively deliver information. In this way, the teacher supports, inspires and guides each student through their own natural development.
- Uninterrupted learning time. Students are encouraged to work without interruption on different tasks at their own pace. Once they are done with one activity, or if they no longer wish to continue, they put the materials back on the shelf and choose another activity. This allows students to work independently while remaining focused on each task.
At Abjadiyat, we love the Montessori method, and it’s why we have personalized learning paths for each student on our app. We’ve digitized games in the app based on the Montessori method, and because the method encourages ‘tangible’ learning, we encourage our students to touch, see, and learn from our printable worksheets and activities, so that they can learn offline. Abjad, our main character, serves as a guide for students, rather than a deliverer of information, and students can choose from any of the various learning tools we provide on the app.
Because technology has become one of the integral factors in a child’s life and in their future, it becomes necessary to provide an education catered for them through a medium they are familiar with. Through this light, we see that educational methods such as the Montessori method, which has lasted for more than 100 years, can be integrated into technology to meet the requirements of today’s young students. With the aid of technology, children can engage and grow at their own pace, to truly learn about the world around them through an educational method that puts them at the center.