What Is the Montessori Method of Education?

A Montessori classroom.

The Montessori Method of education provides hands-on learning as children explore their environment guided by a highly trained teacher. (Image: Lisa Maruna via Flickr)

The Montessori Method of Education was developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian educator and physician who lived between 1870 and 1952. It is a system of learning for children that focuses on educating them in a wholesome manner.

The Montessori Method

In 1906, Montessori was invited to create a childcare center in San Lorenzo, one of Rome’s poorest districts at that time. She was tasked with nurturing children who were disadvantaged and never had any experience with schooling.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

Many people had deemed these children as incapable of learning. She wanted to prove them wrong. A year later, Montessori opened the doors to her center, called “Casa dei Bambini,” which roughly translates as “Children’s House.”

“While the children were unruly at first, they soon showed great interest in working with puzzles, learning to prepare meals and clean their environment, and engaging in hands-on learning experiences. Dr. Montessori observed that before long, the children exhibited calm, peaceful behavior, periods of deep concentration, and a sense of order in caring for their environment. She saw that the children absorbed knowledge from their surroundings, essentially teaching themselves,” according to the American Montessori Society.

Maria Montessori, the Italian physician and educator who developed the Montessori Method.
Maria Montessori, the Italian physician and educator who developed the Montessori Method. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

As the school became a success, the Montessori Method began to be recognized as an ideal system for educating kids. Today, there are thousands of Montessori education centers spread across multiple nations, with the U.S. alone accounting for around 5,000 of them. Much of Montessori’s philosophy on education was influenced by the works of people like Friedrich Fröbel, Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, Édouard Séguin, and so on, who stressed using sensory manipulatives and exploration. Montessori was nominated for the “Top 100 Women of the Year” award by Time in 2020.

Pros and cons

The biggest benefit of the Montessori Method is the fact that it encourages children to learn about things independently. Kids can learn about new things at their own pace. The focus is on developing the kids’ creative faculties, encouraging them to understand the real meaning behind knowledge rather than memorizing it blindly.

This method of education can also enhance social interaction among kids as they work with each other in understanding new topics and solving questions.

“I think the biggest long-term impact I have seen is that Montessorians remain perpetually curious about the people and the world around them, seeing learning as an enjoyable life-long process rather than a burden that ends when a school bell rings… In my experience, they have a desire and an ability to connect with a variety of people and ideas in many different situations and contexts,” Karen Ricks, who founded an international Montessori school in Japan, said to Rasmussen.

Montessori students generally develop the mindset that learning is an enjoyable, life-long process.
Montessori students generally develop the mindset that learning is an enjoyable, life-long process. (Image: KJJS via Flickr)

Even though the system was developed among poor, disadvantaged kids, the Montessori Method is generally quite expensive now. Since Montessori schools invest so much in acquiring top-quality learning materials that the kids can explore, they inevitably end up charging higher rates than regular schools.

But, overall, Montessori has showcased above-average results from the children enrolled in their institutions. And this is why the teaching method has spread far and wide into different corners of the world.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

Illustration of Chinese scholar Qian Mu, wearing traditional clothing and glasses.

Qian Mu: Guardian of Chinese Tradition in the Shadow of Communism (Part 1)

In 1949, as the Communist Party was poised to take control of mainland China, with ...

Old photo of Chinese historian, Qian Mu, dressed in scholarly robes.

Qian Mu: Guardian of Chinese Tradition in the Shadow of Communism (Part 2)

In 1966, when Chairman Mao Zedong initiated the Cultural Revolution, China’s traditional culture faced an ...

Illustration of a man resting on a sofa.

Unlocking the Benefits of Power Naps for Productivity and Well-Being

The relentless pace of modern life often leaves us feeling drained. In the midst of ...

Colored clouds in the sky.

How a Hug Can Make Miracles Happen

Do miracles exist? Our world is governed by logic and science; extraordinary events often spark ...

A young Chinese man napping on a train.

What Is the Ubiquitous Chinese Nap Culture?

The ubiquitous Chinese nap culture is something that most foreigners usually do not follow. The ...

A laughing baby crawling on the floor.

The Science of Joy: Exploring Human Psychology Through a Babies’ Laughter

There’s something irresistibly captivating about babies’ laughter. A beacon of pure joy and an indicator ...

A laughing Japanese school girl with her friends, all in their school uniforms eating ice cream cones.

Laughter Helps You Live Longer

Research reveals that laughter can help you live longer! The Chinese saying “Smiles make one ...

John Cleese of 'Fawlty Towers.'

‘Fawlty Towers’ Reboot: John Cleese and Daughter to Revive the Iconic Sitcom 40 Years Later

Most people fondly remember classic British sitcoms such as The Office, Blackadder, Last of the ...

William Getty walking with the aid of parallel bars.

A Small Act of Kindness Helped a Boy with Cerebral Palsy Learn to Walk Again

Living with cerebral palsy is an unimaginable hardship that some people have to go through. ...

Send this to a friend