06 January, 2023 | Posted by Michelle Hogan

What is the Concept of Montessori?

What is the Concept of Montessori?

Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.  

In Montessori classrooms, children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the highly trained teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. 

Montessori is an educational philosophy and practice that fosters self-motivated growth for children in all areas of their development, with the goal of nurturing each child's natural desire for knowledge, understanding, and respect. 

Maria Montessori was a strong advocate that children learn through play and the learning environment is a hugely important aspect of education. 

She believed that by giving children physical objects they can manipulate to solve problems, they gain a deeper understanding of subjects, as their hands become the brains tools (Montessori, 1967).

What is the Montessori pedagogy?   

Through extensive research on young children, some with additional needs, Italian educator and doctor, Maria Montessori developed a method of education whereby children learn in a natural environment, through exploration and at their own individual pace.    

She observed that by showing respect to each individual child by allowing freedom of choice, movement and speech in a specially prepared environment, children are motivated and eager to work uninterrupted.    

Between the ages of birth and six years, children have what Montessori named the absorbent mind, an effortless ability to learn through their senses. 

Why is Montessori used so widely today?   

Montessori education is recognised the world over particularly as a method of education for preschool children. 

All the latest research recognises that young children learn best by doing and Montessori schools are filled with specially designed materials developed to meet the child’s individual, developmental needs.     

Montessori schools across Ireland meet all the standards of Siolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and through the vast array of curricular materials it also links with Aistear, the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. 

How is Montessori different from other teaching methods?   

  • Montessori education focuses on the child’s individual development.
  • It recognises that all children should learn at their own pace and that we as educators should guide and direct the children but ultimately, they learn independently through repetitive, hands-on learning with specially designed materials.
  • The prepared environment is a home-from-home, safe classroom which gives way to exploration, discovery and freedom.     
  • Children develop independence and respect whilst building confidence enabling also social and emotional development.  Montessori education is child-centred and promotes inclusion. 

What is the value of having a Montessori qualification? 

Montessori education is a wonderful pedagogy to understand and implement in any preschool setting.     

Today early years settings follow the themes of Aistear and children are introduced to many subjects, materials and toys.     

Early years practitioners are now being recognised as professional educators implementing a very significant curriculum into preschool classrooms across the country.     

Having a Montessori qualification gives the educator a wider knowledge and understanding of the history of early years education and pedagogy developed by a lady who was certainly way ahead of her time!     

Having such a qualification will also give you the opportunity of setting up a Montessori school or simply becoming a Montessori educator in a school.     

The knowledge gained by having a Montessori qualification will also very much complement a play therapy qualification (as discussed above), ECCE or Early Childhood Studies. 

Get in Contact

If you are interested in any of our early years and Montessori courses or have any questions you can book a consultation call with our expert advisor Jennifer Matteazzi here, email jennifer.matteazzi@portobelloinstitute.com or call 01 892 0031. Visit our Early Years & Montessori Department here.

Portobello Insider

Join our mailing list to receive the latest insights and exclusive content from your chosen department of interest