About Montessori

montessori in Arlington

Arlington Public Schools have embraced Montessori education in the county for almost 50 years and many options exists for your child. 

At the primary level (ages 3 to 6), your child can attend a Montessori program at either APS (APS currently has 17 Montessori primary classrooms in seven elementary schools) or at one of many private schools. Arlington has a dedicated Montessori elementary school, the Montessori Public School of Arlington (MPSA), and for middle school houses a Montessori Middle School program at Gunston. Private school options exist for elemenary and middle school years throughout the county as well. More information on each of these is provided below.

Ages 3-6, or Pre-K and Kindergarten

Ages 6-11, or 1st Grade - 5th Grade

In APS, there is Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3) and Upper Elementary (Grades 4-5)

Ages 11-14, or 6th Grade - 8th Grade

Principles of montessori education

Dr. Montessori’s philosophy of education continues to focus on the prepared environment, multiage grouping, peace education, an uninterrupted work cycle, and the Montessori teaching method.

The Prepared Environment

It is the teacher’s responsibility to create and maintain an inviting environment that is child centered.  The classroom should stimulate the child’s natural curiosity and desire to learn. The teacher prepares lessons that connect the child to their environment through exploration and creativity. The environment should be arranged to allow for the child to move freely in their exploration.

Multi-Age Grouping

Children are grouped based on their periods of development in 3 to 6 year spans. This allows the child to experience the Montessori materials that are most effective for their period of development. The older children will model appropriate behavior, grace and courtesy, and practice challenging work for the observation of their younger friends.

Peace Education

Conflict resolution skills and cultural appreciation are elements of the Montessori philosophy of education. Dr. Montessori believed strongly in the idea of a global citizen.

Uninterrupted Work Cycle

Children should have the opportunity to complete an uninterrupted work cycle lasting usually two-and-half to three hours. This allows the child to develop their concentration, independence, sense of order, and to learn through interaction with Montessori materials.

Montessori Teaching Method

The specific nature of Montessori classrooms requires the teacher to be trained in the philosophy of Montessori education, the Montessori materials, and the developmental needs of the children they teach.