Looking for the ideal way to give your son or daughter a passion for learning and the tools to succeed in school and life? If so, you’ve probably done a little digging and discovered the concept of Montessori classes and methods used at Primary Montessori. But you may not know how it became so popular and why it’s so influential as a way to bring out the best in children.
When you investigate where Montessori came from and understand its methodology, you’ll realize that this mode of education is one of the most powerful ways to raise a successful child. Here’s why.
Who Was Maria Montessori?
The creator of this unique approach to child-centered learning, Maria Montessori was a respected Italian physician and educator. A pioneer in educational methods and a champion of everyone’s right and ability to learn, her techniques have equipped generations of successful leaders—such as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, Julia Child, Jeff Bezos and many others—since she opened the doors to her first school in 1907.
How Her Own Learning Experiences Influenced Her
A bright, ambitious child, Maria Montessori loved learning and had educated parents who encouraged her to explore the books, libraries, and schools available to her—even at a time when many women didn’t have opportunities for higher education.
As a result of her persistence and passion for learning, she attended and successfully graduated from the University of Rome with a medical degree in 1896, as one of Italy’s first female physicians.
Montessori practiced psychiatry for a time, then turned to education when the opportunity arose to train special education teachers and students. She applied herself to studying what teaching methods worked best, and many of her students made unexpected gains that proved her approach successful.
Teaching Based on Real-World, Proven Techniques
In 1907, a momentous event happened that would forever influence early childhood education for the better. Maria Montessori opened a childcare center for significantly under-served children ages 3 to 7 in a poor, inner-city area of Rome. She named her school Casa dei Bambini—Italian for “Children’s House.”
None of her students had ever experienced being in a classroom before, and they were used to being on their own while their parents worked. To many people, it seemed like an impossible task to engage these undisciplined, unschooled children in an education.
But Montessori boldly believed she could do it. She believed in herself and her techniques—and more importantly, she believed in her students.
The Montessori Method Takes Shape
To give her disadvantaged students every opportunity for success, Montessori carefully considered everything she’d learned about effectively teaching young children.
She knew they loved to explore their environment and absorb new knowledge quickly. She’d seen how they could concentrate for long periods if the work fit their current stage of development and their personal passions and innate talents.
With that in mind, she designed her classroom and learning materials to foster the children’s love of discovery and give them freedom to pursue their interests, within loving boundaries that could help them become self-assured and focused.
Impressive Success through the Montessori Classroom
It didn’t take long before the students in Maria Montessori’s new school began to thrive. They explored their new classroom with enthusiasm and grew in their ability to be self-disciplined and focused.
Though they were at first unruly, they quickly settled down into a calm routine and became entranced by the classroom activities. They eagerly worked with puzzles, enjoyed hands-on discoveries, learned to prepare meals, and cared for their classroom—all of which continue to be vital elements of the authentic Montessori environment today.
Montessori Grows into a Powerful Educational Movement
The transformation of these children in Rome made in such a short time was so powerful that others took notice. Soon, people were coming from all over the world to see Montessori’s methods in action.
Educators worldwide expressed interest in learning her approach, so she began to offer classes and popular books, training others to follow her uniquely effective approach. Within a few years, more Montessori schools were launched throughout Europe and the U.S., birthing an educational movement that has benefitted young children for decades.
As her preschool influence grew, Montessori expanded her techniques for use in elementary classrooms and for adolescents as well. By doing so, she ensured that the effective education of preschool-aged children could be built upon, cementing their love for learning and equipping them for continued academic and social success throughout their lives.
With years of worldwide travel under her belt and living through two world wars, Montessori also became passionate about promoting peaceful interactions and a global awareness, both of which are incorporated into genuine Montessori education currently.
Montessori Schools Today
In just over 100 years, the Montessori method has grown from one small school in Rome to around 5,000 schools just in the U.S. alone, serving more than one million children. And there are thousands of Montessori schools across the world as well.
These remarkable schools provide potent, transformative classrooms that embrace the unique individuality of every child. They offer an impressive alternative to traditional classes, making room for children to thrive and enjoy opportunities to learn at their own pace.
The students who come out of Montessori schools—people like NBA star Stephen Curry, and Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin—cite their education as foundational to their achievements today.
The Montessori movement continues to help children grow into their best selves, forming a lasting love of learning that they can use in every area of their lives.
Discover Montessori for Your Rockville, MD Child
The greatest proof of the Montessori method’s effectiveness is the many children who have benefited from learning and growing in our classrooms. So don’t just take our word for it—see for yourself what happy parents are saying about our school, and imagine the positive impact a Montessori education can provide for your son or daughter.