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Montessori is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. This educational approach is known for child-led learning in a carefully prepared environment that encourages independence and the development of practical skills. Montessorians believe that children are naturally curious and capable of learning through interactive experience and self-directed activity.
The Montessori teacher, or "guide," is responsible for establishing a learning environment that encourages a child's inherent inquisitiveness and eagerness to learn. Guides observe the progress of children and offer assistance and direction as needed, while providing them the freedom to learn independently. Regular interaction with every student nurtures the whole child and fosters a love of learning.
Montessori classrooms are designed to support self-directed learning, and are organized into specific learning areas such as: practical life, sensorial, language, math, and cultural studies. Children are free to choose their own activities within these areas, and the guide provides support as needed.
Each child has their own unique strengths and abilities - Montessori schools are adept in supporting them. If your child enjoys learning about the world around them in a tactile way, they will enjoy the materials found in a Montessori classroom. If your child has unique learning needs or requires more flexibility in their schedule, they may enjoy the freedom to work at their own pace and level in a Montessori classroom. If your child thrives in structured, predictable environments, they may enjoy Montessori, since classrooms have consistent routines and expectations.
Montessori is a term that is not legally protected by trademark, meaning that individuals without any particular training, experience or affiliation can establish a "Montessori" school. Look for schools with an authentic program and trained guides. More information on authentic Montessori schools can be found here.
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