The Montessori Method – Respect for Children as Unique Individuals

With the Montessori approach to learning, children master skills at their own rate, and in a way that they learn best. The unique Montessori learning environment lets them advance as they are ready. Montessori classrooms do not label some children and not others as “gifted.” Each child is special and respected for their unique abilities.

Montessori classrooms are also deeply invested in the social and emotional development of every student.  The focus is on developing the whole child — his or her social skills, emotional growth, physical coordination, and cognitive abilities. This is achieved by recognizing and respecting the unique personalities and mental traits each child brings to the classroom.

In a Montessori classroom, the goal is not to dictate, then memorize and move on. This is often the approach in preschools and traditional school settings. The goal of a Montessori education is to help students learn how to learn for themselves by:

  • Showing students how to perform tasks and encouraging them to learn at their own pace.
  • Giving children choices, acknowledging their unique interests and tastes, and allowing them to decide where they would like to focus their energies and concentration.
  • Understanding that a child’s choices and interests change throughout the day.
  • Providing a variety of learning centers, group and solo activities, as well as quiet and communicative time.

More in this series:

12 Ways Montessori Schools Are Different From Traditional Schools