Montessori Philosophy

What is Montessori Education?

Montessori educational philosophy is a neuroscience-based approach to education which puts special focus on optimization of the learning environment.  Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian Physician who devoted her life to pedagogy (the science and art of learning and instructional theory) and founded the Montessori educational philosophy movement around the turn of the 20th century.  Interest in Montessori education, especially in early childhood development, has continued to grow significantly over the past century.  There are approximately 20,000 Montessori schools worldwide with 5,000 Montessori Schools in the U.S.

Key Principles:

  1. Human Tendencies
  2. Four Planes of Development
  3. Sensitive Periods
  4. Adaptation
  5. Normalization
  6. Activity, Movement, and the Senses
  7. Unique Construction

8 Qualities of Montessori learners:

  1. Independence
  2. Confidence and Competence
  3. Autonomy
  4. Intrinsic Motivation
  5. Social Responsibility
  6. Academic Preparation
  7. Spiritual Awareness
  8. Global Citizenship

Characteristics of the Normalized Child in a Montessori Learning Enironment:

  1. Love of order
  2. Love of work
  3. Profound spontaneous concentration
  4. Attachment to reality
  5. Love of silence and working alone
  6. Sublimination of possessive instinct
  7. Power to act from real choice
  8. Obedience
  9. Independence and initiative
  10. Spontaneous self-discipline.

Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work, E.M. Standing, Pages 175-179 

What We Can Guarantee

  1. A More Efficient Learning Environment.  The Montessori classroom is a prepared environment that has been optimized over the past 100 years to provide the ideal learning environment for each age group.  The prepared environment gives children access to the appropriate materials during their sensitive periods of development.
  2. A Positive Attitude About learning.  The first six years of life determine the child’s attitude about learning and self-confidence through self-reliance.  Children in Montessori environments begin a history of success early which forms their attitudes about learning.  We believe that a child’s self-esteem and attitude towards learning are a far better indicator of the likeliness of living a happy and successful life than are test scores.

While we consistently see a wide variety of other beneficial characteristics in our graduates, we can guarantee the above points and nothing else.



American Montessori Society