The Montessori method has been researched by academics for over a century now. Maria Montessori first began developing her educational methods and philosophies in 1897. Today you can find Montessori schools all around the globe and her core methodology remains intact.
Montessori teachers practice hands-on learning. Most traditional classroom settings involve a room full of desks and children spend the entire day listening to a lecture. This may work for auditory learners, but it may not work for everyone. Montessori schools subscribe to the belief that hands-on learning is a more concrete method of teaching which doesn’t rely heavily on abstract or philosophical theories.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math
Most Montessori classrooms utilize STEAM programming. Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math are seen as fundamental skills in most all schools, but they look different in a Montessori classroom. Montessori math materials are unlike anything found in a traditional classroom. Again, one of the core philosophies in a Montessori school is to focus on concrete learning as opposed to abstract teachings and philosophies. The Golden Bead material is one example of a tool used in the classroom. It is a small string of 10 beads placed in a wire and you will find many of these in a Montessori classroom. This tool is used for teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. For example, if you have ten strings of Golden Beads (or 10 X 10), how many do you have? The answer is 100 beads.
Children in Montessori schools are encouraged to direct their own path of learning. Students identify projects they are interested in and teachers will support them and offer guidance as needed. Students are also encouraged to work at their own pace and it’s rare to see a classroom filled with students all working on the same thing.