Montessori education. How does it work?


You've probably heard of Montessori. Nowadays you still come across it and some people prefer this method of teaching. Some children are very introvert, they are independent and need to experience a lot themselves and be able to develop at their own pace. It is a form of education that does not suit all children, but as a parent you can often judge whether it is something for your children.

In the Netherlands there are still many schools where this Montessori method is offered. There is also some more in-depth information, such as who the founder of the method is and what principles there are. This can give you a good idea if it's something for your children and what you can do for them. For many children it is a nice method of teaching and they learn a lot from it, promising for the future.

Maria Montessori

Montessori education is about a method for both primary and secondary education. This works through the principles of Maria Montessori. The method is known for the statement teach me to do it myself. It is therefore based on the principle that children develop a natural, necessary urge for self-development. The education must then recognize what needs a child has at that moment and respond to those needs with the right materials in the right environment.

Children may work alone or in groups on material they have chosen themselves. This in turn is material developed by Maria Montessori. A teacher will observe what the children are doing and they will find out what their needs are. Material can then be provided to meet the needs of the child. 

Montessori school

At a Montessori school there are different age groups mixed together. You have lower grades, middle grades and upper grades. It is important for the development of children, because at home they also come into contact with people of different ages. In this way children learn to adapt and to help each other. Important skills are therefore central, such as independence, but also cooperation and daring to ask for help. Children can also learn a lot from each other because they see what classmates, who are younger or older, are doing. It is also good for their self-confidence if they can help a younger student to learn something. They also learn to be patient and to try things out. They are less likely to ask for help because they see that they can solve many problems themselves by trying. 

Characteristic of the Montessori school is, for example, several ages in a class, but also the materials that are used. We go into this in more detail. In the classrooms different materials are used and these are attuned to the age of the children. At first this starts with developmental materials, but soon didactic materials are used. In addition, a distinction is made between sensory material, language and mathematical material and material needed for cosmic education.

Important properties

Another important feature of this method is self-evaluation. A child can correct mistakes himself because the material is designed in such a way that a child can see for himself whether it is good or not. The material also focuses on only one feature at a time. This allows them to focus on one thing and they are not overcharged and do not get frustrated because too much is asked of them. This is a godsend for many children and they learn a lot from it. 

In the Netherlands there are currently about 160 Montessori primary schools, these are then recognized by the Dutch Montessori Association. It could therefore be that you would like your children to use this method of education. It is very good to find out how your child is in terms of character and then to find out if this is something for him or her. You can always ask for information at the school in question and then find out together if it is something that could be for your children. 

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