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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is Montessori only for certain types of children?

The Montessori Method of education is not directed at any particular type of child.  In fact, Montessori is advantageous for many different styles of learning.  Some children learn better by touching, some by listening, and some by doing.  There are many different ways children become successful in a Montessori classroom. 

What are the benefits of the multi-age classroom?

In a Montessori,  multi-age classroom the students are taught according to developmental stages, rather than age or grade designation. Students remain with the same teacher for the three year cycle. The better a teacher knows a student, the easier it is for the teacher to provide appropriate instruction.   Each year the student experiences a new class position as they transition from a "novice" to a "mentor". Our teachers focus on students' learning needs rather than on grade-level curriculum. The teacher's attention is not divided between the age groups. Therefore, students have the advantage of continuous learning, and in some cases will be ahead of their peers in a traditional class setting. 

As a parent, there are many benefits to the multi-age environment : stronger relationship with the teacher, child is more positive about school, child learns to be more pro-social, independent, and responsible. Child learns to self-initiate. 

Is a Montessori classroom unstructured?

A Montessori classroom is one of the most structured learning environments.  The classroom operates on a balance between the freedoms, or choices, offered to the student and the student's self-discipline.  There is a place and order for all materials.  The child is only allowed to work with materials on which she/he has been given a lesson.  Everything, except the child's time, is structured.  She/he may work with any piece of material for as long as she likes.  This helps develop concentration in the child when she is not constantly interrupted by the adult to change activities.  We trust the child knows when she is finished with work and is ready to put it away.  This develops a sense of accomplishment in the child and a pride in work that is completed. 

Is the Montessori student-teacher ratio too high?     

All Montessori classrooms include a three-year age span, 3-6, 6-9, or 9-12 years of age.  Thus every class has experienced as well as new students, each working at his own level and at his own pace. The variety of work being done creates a rich learning environment which stimulates curiosity and interest.  Students are encouraged to develop a high level of independence as well as to assist younger classmates.  Class size is designed to be large enough to foster an optimal learning environment, but small enough to allow for appropriate guidance and supervision. Montessori classes usually have between 12-18 children in a classroom with two adults (a teacher and an assistant).  The teacher is not the focus of the classroom;  it is, instead, the Montessori materials and the "prepared environment" that are the focus.   The teacher serves merely as a guide to help the children learn the materials and the social graces of belonging to a community beyond the family.  The learning comes from the child working independently with the materials, not solely with interaction with the teacher. 

 

 

   
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