Montessori in General
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 tables and chairs should be child sized and there should be ample work space for the child to use. The environment should be arranged according to subject area and allow for the child to move freely in their exploration.
Children are grouped based on their periods of development in 3 to 6 year spans. For example, the children in the primary classroom are grouped ages 3- 6 years old. 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.
Age Groupings in APS Montessori Classrooms
Primary Montessori - ages 3-6, or Pre-K and Kindergarten
Elementary Montessori - ages 6-11, or 1st Grade - 5th Grade
In APS, Elementary Montessori is further divided into Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3) and Upper Elementary (Grades 4-5)
Adolescent Montessori - ages 11-14, or 6th Grade - 8th Grade
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. The appropriate training of the Montessori teacher is imperative to the success of the Montessori classroom.