Montessori Method

The Montessori method is an educational technique for children based on theories of child development created by Italian educator Maria Montessori in the late 19th and early 20th century. It is applied primarily in preschool and elementary school settings, though some Montessori high schools do exist.

The method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activity on the part of the child and clinical observation on the part of the teacher whom gives direction to the child. It stresses the importance of adapting the child's learning environment to his or her developmental level and of the role of physical activity in absorbing academic concepts and practical skills.

Methodology in practice

The Montessori Method is a teaching methodology developed in Italy by Dr. Maria Montessori. With the opening of her first school in 1907 in Rome, the term Montessori became associated with schools that use her educational approach with children, as well as her precise educational materials tailored for children’s developmental needs. A number of schools around the world implement her approach to education for a wide range of ages.

“From the moment the child enters the classroom, each step in his education is seen as a progressive building block, ultimately forming the whole person, in the emergence from childhood to adult. All focus is on the needs of the child.” One distinguishing feature of Montessori at the preschool age is that children direct their own learning, choosing among the sections of a well-structured and stocked classroom including Practical Life (fine and gross motor skill development), Sensorial (sensory and brain development), Language, Math, Geography, Science, and Art. The role of a teacher is to introduce children to materials and then remain a “silent presence” in the classroom.

Westlake Montessori School

The School on the Hill