The Montessori method

The goal of early childhood education, according to Dr Montessori, should not be to fill the child with facts but rather to cultivate the child’s own natural desire to learn. Montessori frequently compared the young mind to a sponge, ready to absorb information from the environment. Learning in this way becomes a natural and delightful activity for the young child who uses all the senses to investigate his surroundings. In the Montessori classroom, the equipment invites children to do this at their own periods of interest and readiness. The hand is the chief teacher of the child and using the hands for learning reinforces the children’s casual impressions. The Montessori classroom takes advantage of periods of intense fascination for learning a particular characteristic or skill by allowing the child freedom to select individual activities which correspond to his or her own periods of interest. [too airy fairy/bad english]

Teacher’s role

The teacher is first of all a keen observer of the individual needs and interests of each child and is trained to recognise each child’s readiness to progress to more complex activities. As Montessori children individually and in their own time select the materials with which to interact and learn, the Montessori teacher teaches correct use and application of the materials, carefully monitoring progress and keeping a record of development. [bit weak]