Understanding the Montessori Classroom

June 28, 2018

When you walk into a Montessori classroom, you notice that it does not look like a traditional classroom. Many aspects of the specialized learning space make it an ideal educational environment:

  • Community-Oriented. Montessori classrooms are multiage. Students are usually divided into classes by age, but not in the same way traditional public-school students are. A classroom might hold students within an age range of three or four years. This allows for peer-to-peer learning experiences and mentoring among classmates. Teachers play the role of guide and associate, rather than imparter of knowledge.
  • Purposeful Design. The classroom is organized to encourage exploration and promote independence. Children have freedom to move around the classroom and are not confined to desks. It is common to see children and teachers working together on the floor or pairs of children sitting at a table together. Educational tools are meticulously ordered to provide appropriate learning prompts. Montessori classrooms are aesthetically appealing to promote calm and focused study.
  • Unique Materials. The Montessori method relies on specific materials specially designed for this unique type of education. The educational games, tools and items are carefully placed on low, open shelving to provide easy access. The materials are designed to be inviting to children. Each item isolates a specific learning objective. The tool referred to as the pink tower is a group of square pink blocks of various sizes. The only difference between blocks is size. Even the youngest children can independently learn about size without instruction or correction as the didactically-designed materials are self-correcting and are built to control for error.

For Montessori students, not all educational time is spent in the classroom. Students also enjoy spending time playing outdoors in nature and completing practical life experiences around the school or home. Understanding the components of a Montessori classroom allows you to see how beautiful and functional it truly is.

A Guide to the Montessori Method for Preschool ParentsThe Benefits of the Montessori Approach to Education

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