The most important guiding principle of the Montessori method is that every child is a “master builder of himself”. Therefore, it knows best itself when it is ready to learn certain skills. Some of the most important Montessori principles are as follows …
Montessori Principle 1: Learn at your own pace!
Arithmetic, reading or writing? With Montessori, each child decides for themselves what they want to do at any given time. Of course there are also lessons with conventional teaching, but most of the time there is “free work”. During this time, the children choose for themselves (from a given framework) what they want to do, for how long, and how intensively.
Montessori principle 2: A prepared environment!
In order for the children to concentrate well on their tasks, they need a structured, clear environment. Every object has a fixed place, and the learning materials are easy for each child to find and reach. Overcrowded rooms with all kinds of bells and whistles? No such thing in Montessori facilities!
Montessori Principle 3: Help me to do it myself!
This guiding principle plays a particularly important role in Montessori education. The children should learn to do tasks themselves within the scope of their possibilities. The adults only guide them and support them when necessary. In this way, the children quickly develop confidence in their own abilities. In general, the pedagogues in Montessori – unlike in classical frontal teaching – have more the role of observers in the background.
Montessori Principle 4: Classes with different ages!
In Montessori institutions, several age groups are usually taught together. The advantage: The little ones can learn from the older ones – and often vice versa!
Montessori principle 5: No grades!
Only in higher grades do children in Montessori schools receive a “real” report card. In the early years, there are general assessments and individual error control instead of grades. In this way, the little ones learn to better assess themselves without the pressure of grades and threats.
Montessori principle 6: Materials from the Montessori learning world!
The working material plays a central role in Montessori. Most of the materials that are used today can still be traced back to Maria Montessori herself. Among them: Wooden cubes, beads and rods for arithmetic or reading puzzles. Many of the materials also deal with “exercises of daily life”, such as wooden frames with buttons and bows.