*The name Montessori is not legally protected, and can be used by anyone, for any purpose; it is vital that anyone searching for a good Montessori school or teacher-training center be aware of this. Most of the Montessori sites on the Internet today exists to advertise one particular Montessori organization, school, or training center. The International Montessori Index was created to provide detailed comparative information in order to help in the search for a school or training center. Details are given to aid parents in looking for a school that follows Dr. Montessori's teachings, and all Montessori training centers and organizations who are official members of The International Montessori Index share their specifics details for comparison with others. Those listed on this site have welcomed the opportunity to make themselves available in this way.
Montessori is not a system for training children in academic studies; nor is it a label to be put on educational materials. It is a revolutionary method of observing and supporting the natural development of children. Montessori educational practice helps children develop creativity, problem solving, critical thinking and time-management skills, to contribute to society and the environment, and to become fulfilled persons in their particular time and place on Earth. The basis of Montessori practice in the classroom is respected individual choice of research and work, and uninterrupted concentration rather than group lessons led by an adult. Group lessons are seldom found in a Montessori classroom, but learning abounds. As you read through these pages you will discover the unique practices that make Montessori the fastest growing and most successful method of education today.
The Montessori learning environment is much different than the traditional model. Instead of information passing from the teacher to the student, the teacher is skilled in putting the child in touch with the environment, and helping him learn to make intelligent choices and to carry out research in a prepared environment. The teacher then protects the student's concentration from interruption. This fosters a love of lifetime learning in the student.
Keep in mind a triangle: the student, the parent or teacher, and the environment. It is the role of the adult to prepare, and continue to prepare, the environment, to link the child to it through well-thought-out introductions to books and materials, projects, and lessons, which nurture the child's exploration and creativity. Children thus taught often surpass both the level of education of their peers, and the knowledge of the adult in all areas -- then they learn to find answers for themselves.
The Montessori school environment is arranged according to subject area -- cooking, cleaning, gardening, art, caring for animals, library corner, etc. -- children always free to move around the room instead of staying at desks. There is no limit to how long a child can work on something she has chosen. At any one time in a day all subjects -- practical work, math, language, science, history, geography, art, music, etc. -- will be being studied, at all levels, by children of mixed ages learning from each other, facilitated by careful observation, individual lessons, record keeping, and help of the teacher.
*Information sited from www.montessori.edu