MONTESSORI education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. Montessori education is practiced in an estimated 20,000 schools worldwide, serving children from birth to eighteen years old. Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, from freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development, as well as technological advancements in society.
Although a range of practices exists under the name “Montessori”, the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the American Montessori Society (AMS) cite these elements as essential. •Mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children aged 2 and and half or 3 to 9 years old by far the most common •Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options •Uninterrupted blocks of work time A constructivist or discovery model where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction •Specialized educational materials developed by Monesstori and her collaborators In addition, many Montessori schools design their programs with reference to Montessori’s model of human development from her published works, and use pedagogy, lessons, and materials introduced in teacher training derived from courses presented by Montessori during her lifetime.
Maria Montessori began to develop her philosophy and methods in 1897, attending courses in pedagogy at the university of rome and reading the educational theory of the previous two hundred years. In 1907, she opened her first classroom, the casa dei Bambini or children’s house in a tenement building in Rome. From the beginning Montessori based her work on her observations of children and experimentation with the environment, materials, and lessons available to them. She frequently referred to her work as