In the words of the child – I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

Dr. Maria Montessori

The Montessori Method is a proven and well-established educational approach that is fundamentally different from traditional teaching methods. It uses a child-centered approach to help children develop to their full potential, by providing them with an environment prepared for self-directed learning coupled with personal guidance from specially trained teachers.

Outcome of Montessori Education

Montessori education helps the child develop a love of order, a love of work, a spontaneous concentration, independence and initiative, a spontaneous self-discipline and a sympathy for others that lasts a lifetime.

A U.S. study found that years after graduating from a Montessori program, children still performed significantly better than peers from a traditional education background.

Another study published in the journal Science (Vol. 313, Sept. 29, 2006) found that Montessori children were also significantly more likely to behave positively – not only at play, but also in conflict resolution. (http://ami-global.org/sites/ami-global.org/files/ScienceLillardArticle.pdf)

The Montessori Method

1 How Children Learn

Children have a natural tendency to work. From birth to age six, they are sensorial explorers, constructing their intellects by absorbing every aspect of their environment, their language and their culture with all five senses. Then from age six to twelve, they become conceptual explorers. They develop their powers of abstraction and imagination, and apply their knowledge to discover and expand their worlds further. The Montessori Method works by taking advantage of the unique sensitivities and capacities at each stage of development.

2 The Prepared Environment

The Montessori classroom provides a prepared environment where children are given the opportunity to respond to their natural tendency to work. The learning materials are specifically designed to help them explore their world and develop essential cognitive skills. Children work freely at their own pace, and in the process develop self-confidence, inner discipline and a joy of learning, free from peer competition. The mixed-age setting also encourages children to develop their personalities socially and intellectually at their own pace.

3 The Montessori Teacher

The Montessori teacher plays a supportive but important role in the classroom. The teacher observes, guides and encourages children on a one-to-one basis. This is not done randomly as it might appear to the occasional visitor. Knowing how to observe constructively, and when and how to intervene is a special skill that the Montessori teacher has acquired through vigorous training. Where needed, the teacher would intervene enough to help the child along, but not so much as to stifle the child’s innate passion to explore on his/her own. Naturally, a younger child would need more guidance, and as the child develops less guidance would be needed.

Method Montessori


Traditional Method

The child learns concepts through Montessori materials.

Source of Knowledge

The child learns concept from the teachers.

The child learns through all five sense, not just through listening, watching or reading.

Styles of Learning

The child learns by watching and listening.

The child can move on to more advanced work if he or she is ready and capable.

Pace of Learning

Pace is set by the rest of the class and the teacher.

An uninterrupted 3 hour work cycle allows the child to focus and concentrate on his/her own intellectual exploration.

Flow of Learning

The child is unable to concentrate on a particular project because the school day is broken down into numerous class periods.

The child spends the day actively learning skills and academics that appeal to him/her.

Appeal of Learning

The child spends most of the day engaging in group activities that may not appeal to him or her.

Montessori Graduates

Montessori is a proven and well-established educational approach that has been practised worldwide for a century. It has been credited with producing a number of well-known innovators.

Here are but a few of the notable Montessori graduates:

  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin – founders of Google
  • Jeff Bezos – founder of Amazon.com
  • Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis – former first lady (John F. Kennedy)
  • Prince William and Prince Harry
  • T. Berry Brazelton – pediatrician and author
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Nobel Prize winner for Literature
  • Katherine Graham – ex-owner of the Washington Post
  • Anne Frank – author, diarist from World War II