General Principles

  • Independent activity constitutes about 80% of the work, and teacher-directed activity comprises the remaining 20% of the work at all levels.
  • Subjects are taught in an integrated fashion. Instruction is not divided into specific time frames associated with a particular subject area or activity.
  • Teachers generally work with the same group ofstudents for more than one year.
  • There is a balance of freedom and responsibility. Basic classroom rules dictate that a student is free to choose activities, but is responsible to structure choice and time to cover the curriculum.
  • Classroom schedules allow for large blocks of time to problem solve, observe and understand interactions, make connections in knowledge and create new ideas.
  • Classrooms are organized, where possible, with three different ages in each classroom. Younger students learn from older students and older students benefit from being leaders and mentors. This is a basic premise of Montessori education.
  • A diverse set of Montessori learning materials, hands-on activities and experiences are used to guide discovery and foster physical, intellectual, creative and social independence.
  • The classroom atmosphere encourages social interaction to enhance cooperative learning, peer teaching, and emotional development.
  • The teacher must be educated in the Montessori philosophy and methodology appropriate to the age level of the students.
  • Children are seen as internally motivated and therefore extrinsic rewards such as stickers, candies etc… are not seen in the Montessori classroom.
  • Montessori educators seek to have a classroom climate where children are not afraid to make errors and where making errors and learning form them is seen as a valuable part of developing life long learning.