The Montessori teaching methods are finally available in a New York City public school – but this public school environment is unlike anything you or your child has ever experienced. The Montessori differences are striking, you can explore them here:
Dr. Maria Montessori started her career as an educator in 1904 in what would today be considered a special education setting. Montessori was one of the first women to receive a medical degree in Italy, and was assigned to work in an asylum for “defective” children. Her observations of children with disabilities led her to develop a unique approach applicable to all types of children, and a teacher-training program, that have gained world acceptance over the past century.
The Montessori model is NOT based on one teacher in front of 20+ students. Our classrooms are uncluttered, simple and divided into specific learning areas – sensory, hands-on, experiential learning areas that allow for an entirely new level of discovery for a child. You’ll also notice that every Montessori classroom features TWO teachers – for greater individualized attention and instruction.
At Montessori, the connection is clear. Students learn to appreciate the beauty of a handmade papier-mâché mask, as well as the artistry of a well-constructed sentence or math solution. It’s not about memorizing dates, facts and figures – it’s about understanding how to think, how to explore freely, and how to collaborate with others to solve problems.
“The way to the brain is through the hands” is an important Montessori tenet. This is proven by research, which shows that a child must interact with real objects, have time to investigate and test ideas, and discuss those ideas with others in order to build effective mental connections. The Montessori approach uses a wide range of specially-designed concrete materials that represent abstract concepts, particularly in math and language arts. This physical modeling ensures more accurate mental representations – making learning that much more potent.
The success of a Montessori education, in the United States and worldwide, has been well documented: children from Montessori schools have demonstrated superior outcomes in their education, with better performance on standardized tests, more positive social interactions, more advanced social cognition and executive control. They are also more concerned about fairness and justice, more creative in their writing, and have a more positive sense of community in their schools.