Willow Oak Montessori
What is Montessori?
The Montessori Story
Montessori is named after its founder, Maria Montessori, an Italian scientist, medical doctor, and educator. First developed with low-income and special needs children in 1907, Montessori education is practiced in public and private schools all over the world, serving children from birth to age eighteen. There are more than 5,000 Montessori schools in the U.S. alone, of which more than 500 are public programs.
Grounded in Practice and Current Research
Montessori education is backed by more than a century of practice in schools all over the world, yet it aligns with today's emphasis on deeply engaging, individualized, personalized, and self-paced learning. Montessori has been shown to support executive functions and academic achievement while also fostering children’s natural curiosity, imagination, and love of learning.
Montessori is based on scientific observation of children’s natural development and refined by decades of practice. Some essential Montessori characteristics:
• STUDENT CHOICE: Children choose their own activities from a range of choices carefully prepared by trained Montessori teachers.
• MIXED-AGE GROUPINGS: A mix of younger and older children in the same developmental stage allows students to advance seamlessly as they are ready for more challenging material, build authentic community, and learn from both teachers and peers.
• UNINTERRUPTED INDEPENDENT WORK PERIODS: Children build attention, focus, and concentration, while learning at their own pace.
• MONTESSORI MATERIALS: Hands-on, concrete, self-correcting materials support engagement, curiosity, independence, and self-guided learning.
• COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM: Teachers are trained in a broad curriculum covering language, math, science, culture, art, music, movement, practical life skills, and social development.
• PERSONALIZED LEARNING: Teachers give lessons one-on-one or in small groups, allowing them to tailor each presentation to the skill level and readiness of individual children.
• DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES: Montessori looks different for different ages because it follows children's natural development.
From National Center for the Public Sector (NCMPS) https://www.public-montessori.org/montessori