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1. Q. Is Montessori good for children with learning disabilities? What about gifted children?
A. Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. A classroom that children have varied abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes. Moreover, multiage grouping allow each child to find his or her own pace without feeling “ahead” or “behind” in a relation to peers.
2. Q. Are Montessori children successful later in life?
A. Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using the basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situation.
Q. What Special training do Montessori teachers have?
A. As with the choice of a Montessori school for children, an adult must also exercise wisdom in choosing a teacher training course. Anyone can legally use the name “Montessori” in describing their teacher training organization. One must be sure the certification earned is recognized by the school where one desires to teach.
The two major Organizations offering Montessori training in the United States are the Association Montessori International (AMI, with a U.S. branch office called AMI-USA and the American Montessori Society (AMS). Most training centers requires a bachelor’s degree for admission.
There are courses , such as “distance learning” or “correspondence courses” which can help better understand Montessori theory or which can train adults to work in certain schools. Sometimes these are the only possibility, but they do not fully prepare one for the intensive and fulfilling work with a classroom of children. When choosing a training course it is important to balance because the amount of time and money one can spend with the teaching opportunities desired, and to find out ahead of the time if your certification earned will allow you to teach in a school you are considering.
Education of character is considered equally with academic education, children
learning to take care of themselves, their environment, each other- cooking, cleaning, building, gardening, moving gracefully, speaking politely, being considerate and helpful, doing social work in the community, etc.
Q. Where did Montessori come from?
A. Montessori (Pronounced MON-tuh-SORE-ee) education was founded in1907
Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician. She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children’s learning processes. Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. casaMaria Montessori designed a “prepared Environment” in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. Now, nearly a century after Maria Montessori’s first Casa Dei Bambini (“Children’s house”) in Rome, Montessori education is found all the world, spanning ages from birth to adolescence.
Q. Can I do Montessori at home with my child?
A. Yes, you can use Montessori principles of child development at home. Look at your through your child’s eyes. Children need s sense of belonging, and they get it by participating fully in the routines of everyday life. “Help me do it by myself” is the life theme of the preschooler, school age child, teenager, and young adult.
Can you find ways for your child to participate in meal preparation, cleaning, gardening, caring for clothes, shoes, and toys? Providing opportunities for independence is the surest way to build your child’s self-esteem and to build the skills needed for life-long learning.
At the school level many homeschooling and other parents use the Montessori philosophy of following the child’s interest and not interrupting and concentrate to the education of their Children.
In school only a trained Montessori teacher can properly implement Montessori education with the specialized learning equipment taught during teacher training, but there are many ideas that can be used in the home with families whose children are in school full-time, or in families where the adults are in charge if totality of the child’s.
Specific Details of the Montessori method as practiced in Montessori Schools.
Protection of the “best” in each child through respect of choice and concentration.
The most important discovery that Dr. Montessori has contributed to the field of
child development and education is the fostering of the best each child. She discovered that in an environment where children are allowed to choose their work and to concentrate for as long as needed on that task, that they come out of this period of concentration ( or meditation or contemplation) refreshed and full of good will towards each other. The teacher must know how to offer work, to link the child to process. We know now that this natural goodness and compassion are inborn, and do not need to be taught, but to be protected.
The Schedule- The three-hour work period
Under the age of six, there one or two 3-hour, uninterrupted, work periods each day, not broken up by required group lessons. Older children schedule meetings or study group with each other the teacher when necessary. Adult and children respect concentration and do not interrupt someone when he is busy in a task. Group form spontaneously or are arrange ahead by special appointment. They almost never take precedence over self-selected work.
Children are grouped in mixed ages and abilities in three to six year spans: 0-3, 3-6- 6-12 ( sometimes temporarily 6-9 and 9-12) 12-15, 15-18. There is constant interaction, problem solving, child to child teaching, and socialization. Children are challenged according to their ability and never bored. The Montessori middle and the high school teacher ideally has taken all three training course plus graduate work in an academic are or areas.
Teacher method- “Teach by teaching, not by correcting”
There are no papers turned back with red marks and corrections. Instead the child’s effort and work is respected as it is. The teacher, through extensive observation and recordkeeping, plans individual projects to enable each child to learn what he needs in order to improve.
The Montessori teachers spend a lot of time during teacher training praticing the many lessons with material in all areas. She must pass a written and oral exam on these lessons in order to be certified. She is trained to recognize a child’s readiness according to age, ability, and interest in a specific lesson, and is prepared to guide individual progress.