Your child 3-5 years

The Montessori method, how does it work?

The Montessori method, how does it work?



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Helping the child learn by himself and giving him confidence by letting him evolve at his own pace are the basics of the Montessori method. Return on this mode of education which places the child at the center of its pedagogy.

1. The Inspirer: Maria Montessori (1870-1952)

  • This Italian starts her career in a psychiatric hospital for children. As nothing is planned for them, she developed an effective pedagogy, which she extended to "normal" students in 1907, when she was entrusted with the education of poor children in Rome. It will be the famous "Casa dei Bambini", a laboratory that will allow him to refine his pedagogy and spread it all over the world.
  • believer, she thinks that the child has everything in him to develop harmoniously. For this, it is necessary to create an adequate environment (hence the idea, which made school, to adapt the furniture to the size of the small ones), to guide the child without forcing it, to propose a adapted material to him and to respect the phases of its development.

2. The principle: the child is his own constructor

  • Placed under favorable conditions for its development, the child will learn by his own experiences. The adult helps with environmental preparation and observes his needs. According to Montessori pedagogy, the child has the faculty of "absorbing" everything that surrounds him and builds his personality with what he is offered and refuses his environment.
  • The child advances at his own pace. Since children do not all have the same needs at the same time, students in class can choose and use the teaching materials designed by Maria Montessori for as long as they wish. This possibility makes it possible to satisfy their interests and gives the necessary time to build intelligence according to the rhythm of each one.
  • Montessori classes mainly in kindergarten.Motherhood is the most representative link in this pedagogy. Montessori settlements have sometimes been accused of training individualistic children. Although teamwork does not occupy a prominent place, teaching does not encourage "everyone for oneself". Students help each other or work in groups.

3. Identity card

  • Number of schools in France: 62 establishments approved by the Montessori France Association. But many other schools are inspired by this pedagogy.
  • Cost of schooling It varies by institution.
  • Levels: kindergarten, nursery, some elementary and middle school in France.
  • Particularities: two adults per group, mixed age classes, many autonomous activities, sensory material.
  • Information: Association Montessori France, 1/7, rue Jean-Monnet - 94130 Nogent-sur-Marne. Such. : 01 48 72 95 20. www.montessori-France.asso.fr.

Noémi Constans and Stéphanie Letellier

See as well The Freinet method