Maria Montessori was a physician and an educator, and she developed the Montessori education system. This video shows how the Montessori system works.
Her first school was outfitted with basic furniture and teaching materials developed during her research on how to teach children with mental disabilities. She discovered that when children used all of their senses, they learned complex concepts more effectively.
The children learned how to dress themselves and take care of the environment. They had the freedom to play with the materials.
Maria Montessori noticed that the children repeatedly did the same activity and showed deep spans of concentration.
As the children had the freedom to choose, they showed more of an interest in practical activities and materials, rather than their usual toys. This brought in self-discipline. Working independently taught children self-motivation.
These ideas spread through the world and inspired other educators and progressive thinkers. Popular concepts in Montessori schools include:
- free movement within class
- freedom to choose what to learn
- specialized materials
- mixed age classes
- no grading or homework
Maria Montessori’s goal was to teach children to become independent and responsible adults and many successful adults have emerged from the Montessori schools.