What is Montessori?

The Montessori method of education is a globally successful program that responds to the developmental needs of the whole child. Created by a pioneering educator and physician, Dr. Maria Montessori, the program recognizes that children are sensorial learners eager to find their place in the world. In the carefully prepared environment of a Montessori classroom, children learn using materials that engage their senses and are specifically crafted for young minds and bodies. With a trained teacher to guide them, these multi-sensorial materials foster cognitive development and motor skills at each child's individual pace. In addition to developing a child's intellect, the Montessori method emphasizes self-care, grace and courtesy, and respect for self, others, and the environment. The Montessori method honors children's intellectual, physical, social and emotional development and enhances a child's innate love of learning.


Learning through all 5 senses​



Environment and method encourage



Mixed age grouping; mainly individual instruction


Child chooses own work


Child works as long as she wishes on chosen material


Child sets own learning pace


Child notices her own errors from feedback of material


Child works where he chooses, moves around and talks at will (so long as not disturbing others)


Organized curriculum for learning to care for self and environment


Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom


Values concentration and depth of experience; uninterrupted time for focused work cycle


Children are encouraged to teach each other and collaborate


Goal is to foster love of learning

Learning through listening, watching or reading


Teacher is primary enforcer of discipline



Same age grouping; mainly group instruction


Curriculum chosen for child


Child allotted specific time for her work



Group norm sets learning pace


Work is corrected by teacher who points out errors


Child assigned to chair, required to participate and sit still for group lessons



No organized program, self-care instruction left primarily to parents


Teacher is center of classroom



Values completion of assignments; time is tightly scheduled



Most teaching is done by teacher​



Goal is to master core curricula objectives



Differences Between a Montessori and

a Traditional Classroom

Suggested Readings

The Absorbent Mind

by Maria Montessori



The Discovery of the Child

by Maria Montessori



The Montessori Method

by Maria Montessori



Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook

by Maria Montessori



The Secret of Childhood

by Maria Montessori



Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius

by Angeline Stoll Lillard



A Parent's Guide to the Montessori Classroom

by Aline D. Wolf



Basic Montessori Learning Activities for Under Fives

by David Gettman



The Hidden Hinge

by Rosa Covington Packard



How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way

by Tim Seldin