Montessori FAQs

What is a Montessori School?

The Montessori Method and philosophy of education was formulated in the early 1900′s by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian engineer, psychologist, physician, and anthropologist.  She discovered that the purpose of education was not the imparting of knowledge by the teacher but the development of intellectual skills so that the children could acquire the knowledge by their own effort; thus making the knowledge truly their own.

How does Montessori work?

Dr. Maria Montessori recognized that the very young child goes through periods of great sensitivity throughout his development; periods during which he learns more easily than at any time in his life. The Montessori Method was designed to be a personalized approach in which each child, respected as an individual, could discover the joy of learning while tapping into the potential of the sensitive periods. A totally prepared environment was designed for his absorbent mind. Different areas of interest are prepared to introduce the child the total reality – Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, Geography, History, Natural Science, Social Science, Art and Music. 

What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?

Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori classes place children in three-year age groups (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and so on), forming communities in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones. Montessori represents an entirely different approach to education. 

What is an independent school?

An independent school is a private school, but there is an important distinction.  A private school may be established with religious indoctrination as the primary objective and education of its children as the secondary objective.  An independent school has the education of its children as the primary objective.  

Why choose an independent school?

Aside from the negatives of the alternative, the most important reason to choose a school like Golden Mittens Montessori is that the parent wants to give the child the best opportunity to succeed, and an independent school affords that opportunity.  The community of parents, teachers, and children in an independent school are positively motivated toward education and proper social conduct.  That community has a good work ethic and considers achievement important.

Is Montessori education for everyone?

Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. It is used around the world to educate children from all socioeconomic backgrounds. A classroom whose children come from varying backgrounds and have varying abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes. Moreover, multiage grouping allows each child to find his or her own pace without feeling “ahead” or “behind” in relation to peers. 

Are Montessori schools religious?

Some are, but most are not. Some Montessori schools, just like other schools, operate under the auspices of a church, synagogue, or diocese, but most are independent of any religious affiliation. At Golden Mittens Montessori, while we do believe in religious principles we are void of any religious affiliation. 

How many Montessori schools are there?

We estimate that there are at least 4,000 certified Montessori schools in the United States and about 7,000 worldwide.