Montessori 6-9 classroom

A recently published research article found that, telative to traditional education, Montessori education has modest but meaningful positive effects on children’s academic and non-academic (executive function, creativity and social-emotional) outcomes. This is indicated by a meta-analysis of 32 studies in which it was possible to compare traditional business-as-usual education to Montessori education.

Child using dustpan and brush cleaning in a Montessori classroom

The work of the child in the first three years is fundamentally leading towards independence.

Montessori solar system

Our education vehicle is on the blink. Despite decades of well-intentioned declarations and reforms, increased funding, and the everyday professionalism of our educators, Australian education is unequal, underperforming and unwell.

Gavin McCormack and children

Teachers shape the future of our world. They educate our future leaders, and the responsibility of our planet lies in their hands.

Very young children have a strong tendency towards order.

Child in Montessori classroom writing Chinese characters

In a Montessori classroom all children work at their own pace and rhythm, taking into account their interests, strengths and weaknesses.  This means a child with learning difficulties or a  “gifted” child can be in the same class as they are able to work at a level that meets their particular needs.

One of the key characteristics of Montessori education is that it supports individualised learning.  Each child has a tailored programme allowing children to work at their own ability level at a pace that is suitable for each of them as they experience their own learning pathway.

Child walking on a line

Practical Life activities in a Montessori classroom assist the child to control and coordinate their moments, and one of the earliest activities introduced in a 3-6 classroom is called “Walking on the Line”.  Montessori saw this as a natural extension of something children liked to do (walking on curbs or tracks) and developed the activity not only to help them control their body, develop balance and perfect equilibrium, but to strengthen the mind’s control of its body’s movements.

Practical suggestions for offering encouragement, not empty praise.

In Montessori Education, the specially designed place that children come to work in is called a ‘prepared learning environment’. The first ‘work’ your child will do in the program is to orientate themselves to the new space in which they find themselves, which may take a couple of sessions. 

The space will be arranged in exactly the same way each week in order to assist this orientation process. Each area in the ‘environment’ has a specific order and contains activities or ‘materials’ which serve different purposes for your child’s development.

The preparation of each Montessori environment includes the careful preparation of the Montessori developmental materials appropriate to that environment. The Montessori materials are sets of objects, each set designed to exacting specifications. In general the materials are designed to:

In recent years there has been much debate about the integration of digital technologies, specifically the use of computers, in early childhood settings. In the view of Montessori educators the disadvantages of computer use in early childhood settings outweigh the advantages. For this reason, computers are generally not found in Montessori early childhood settings for children under six years of age.

Maria Montessori was born on the 31st August 1870, in Chiaravalle, Italy. From an early age she broke through the traditional barriers for women, attending a technical school with initial ambitions to be an engineer, to go on to choose a career in medicine. In 1896 Montessori became one of the first Italian women ever to obtain a medical degree. In her early career as a doctor, she was asked to represent Italy at the International Congress for women’s rights in Berlin, where she called for equal pay for women.

The Montessori curriculum is organised in a developmental sequence from one phase of learning to the next. Individual students, however, are able to work successfully through elements of the curriculum in a sequence unique to themselves. For this reason, comparisons between students may not be meaningful. The validity of norm-referenced assessment and the ranking of students are further reduced in the Montessori context because, in a multi-age classroom, there are comparatively small numbers of children at the same age and stage.

Montessori environments are prepared to be both beautiful and ordered.

From birth children are deeply interested in everything around them. They are driven to explore their world in the service of their own development. If they are to respond to this drive, children need the freedom to explore and discover their environment independently, and to engage their full attention on what interests them with a minimum of interference and interruption.