Montessori is a teaching methodology based on the natural learning processes of children. Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, developed the method more than 90 years ago. Dr. Montessori used the term “the absorbent mind” to describe how a young child learns in a comfortable and stimulating environment. Within such an environment, a child becomes absorbed in work, developing concentration, independence, and self-discipline.
Dr. Montessori believed that children learn best through their senses. By working with concrete materials, the child begins to understand abstract concepts. With guidance by a trained Montessori teacher, the child gradually masters the different materials and concepts. As the child masters each task, it reinforces learning as a positive experience. Success develops the child’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
The Montessori preparation-training program is 320 contact hours plus an academic year of supervised internship. During the internship, teachers learn how to use a variety of the specially designed educational materials. The intent is to allow children to learn using the materials while the teacher acts as a guide.