Why Choose Montessori Education?
Montessori offers a sensible structured system that allows children to develop at their own pace, using their own abilities, with the positive guidance of a teacher and the use of specially designed Montessori materials. Children develop inner discipline, cooperation, independence, responsibility and self-confidence. As the children work and play the foundation for the love of learning is being formed for life.
What Makes Montessori Education Unique?
- Children learn by exploring and discovering concepts with “hands-on” manipulative equipment.
- Individualized learning allows students to progress at their own pace.
- Logical and creative thinking are developed and problem solving skills encouraged.
- Lessons in grace and courtesy teach respect for self and others and promote positive social interaction and development.
- A noncompetitive environment encourages children to learn to work and achieve intrinsic rewards rather than for external reinforcement or to please others.
The Montessori Method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely his intellectual faculties but also his powers of deliberation, initiative and independent choice, with their emotional complements. By living as a free member of a real social community, the child is trained in those fundamental social qualities which form the basis of good citizenship.
Are all Montessori Schools the Same?
Parents desiring to enroll their children in a Montessori school are interested, of course, in criteria by which such a school may be evaluated. Of special concern to parents are the qualities which identify an exemplary Montessori teacher. Since the name “Montessori” alone cannot be copyrighted, schools may use this name in various ways, and since Montessori teacher training is far from uniform, it often may be difficult indeed to compare one teacher’s training with another’s. Some teachers are labeled “trained in Montessori” on basis of attendance at a summer institute or at a brief series of lectures.
In 1929, Maria Montessori established the AMI organization. The mission of this organization was to ensure that teacher training centers and Montessori schools maintain the exacting standards she established. Dr. Montessori believed strongly that her curriculum should remain intact and exact in its implementation. AMI/USA governs the school certification process in the United States. AMI certification of the teacher and of the school assures parents that the school and the teachers meet the highest standards.
Almost all Montessori schools are independent of each other. Even among AMI schools, you may find leadership, governance or physical space or grounds may vary. While some schools may need minimum standards, others provide exceptional environments and leadership. Visit the school and ask questions to assess the standards the school has established.
How do I Choose a Good Montessori School?
- AMI Recognition is the highest certification a school can attain. AMI is the only authentic certification for Montessori Schools.
- An Established School wherein children begin the Primary Montessori class around age 3 and remain in the same classroom until age 6. The interaction of the experienced older student with the younger child is crucial to establishing a Montessori community. Also an established, well reputed program assures parents of stability and consistency in staff, policies, parent satisfaction and community involvement.
- Bright From the Start licensing with the State of Georgia ensures that the school meets an additional set of standards for safety and professionalism.
- A school serving a variety of ages (toddler – elementary) is best to accommodate families over a longer period of time and to maintain peer group and minimize transitions.
- Observe a class in session and tour the school. Authentic Montessori requires spacious, fully equipped classrooms with access to safe outdoor environments/gardens. You should see calm, gracious teachers who are respectful of the child. The children should be engaged in purposeful work exhibiting competence, independence and grace.