The Montessori Method
Invented by Maria Montessori (one of the first women to practice medicine after the Unification of Italy) with principles that reflect reality, the Method was born with experience in the early twentieth century, gaining international acclaim.
In 1929 the Associazione Nazionale Montessori Italia (AMI) was founded.
The method has never been written in a technical document (therefore never recorded) but it is reconstructed by indicating three elements (common to many methods) to which Montessori adds the freedom of choice of the child. These are:
The Environment / The child / The teacher
- Reminds the home environment;
- It is child sized;
- The directress is its guardian;
- Encourages children’s free movement;
- It is divided into area of development (practical life/ sensorial/culture);
- It is called “prepared environment”.
Materials in the environment:
- It is child sized;
- It is interesting for the child;
- It is progressive, simple, self-correcting (in most cases), it isolates a quality, a peculiarity, a difficulty, it facilitates the development;
- It is an exercise: “I concentrate, I do it according to instructions, I do a lot of directed work”;
- Present “intentionally” in a single copy: “I learn to respect it, I learn to wait; I fit in at the right time and wait my turn; I do not choose out of imitation but out of interest”.
- It is inserted in a multi-age class (3-6 years old): the observation between them will favour the timing and the way of learning;
- He is defined as the “conscious worker”: his hands, guided by intelligence, perform tasks of a well-defined human type;
- His game is really a “job” (this is the name of all the activities carried out in class);
- Inserted in a constructive, quality environment, makes its autonomy a pre-requisite for learning, in compliance with the rules of behaviour learned from the teacher.
- Prepares the environment: she has a clear idea of the areas to be developed and organizes the corners;
- She connects the environment and the child. How?
- Through the “presentation”: one child at a time, she shows how to do the “work”;
- The “presentation of the work” is short, simple, objective. The object is in evidence, the words to describe it are few, the attention is paid to the function of the object;
- The material is used to make the child learn something specific and clearly identifiable;
- The child’s learning is “structured”;
- She limits direct intervention to what is necessary and essential: if necessary, it “provokes” the child, presenting the activity to him/her again;
- Finally, the directress evaluates herself, the environment and the child, ALWAYS!
The course of the activities carried out during the year will be documented through the works of children (bound at the end of the year in a personalized binder and photos shown on the socials used by the school). Additionally, the most significant didactic experiences will be presented through billboards hanging on the walls during all the year.