North Austin Montessori School
A foundation for your child's future

FAQ



"The goal of early childhood education should not be to fill
a child with facts from a set course, but rather to
cultivate his own natural desire to learn"
--
Dr. Maria Montessori



                                                                                      
How did Montessori begin?

This internationally recognized philosophy of education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori.  Dr. Montessori was the first woman to become a Doctor of Medicine in Italy in 1896.  Through her medical work with children, she became interested in the way young children learn.  In the early 1900’s she set up a school for children between the ages of two and six years.  Her observations in the school led her to understand that children have special sensitivities at different stages of their development and that the environment plays a very important factor in their behavior.  By preparing learning environments responsive to those characteristics, children became very focused in their activities.  They not only learned academic skills with ease and enthusiasm but also developed healthy self-esteem, strong self discipline, and respect for others and for the world.

Maria Montessori became an internationally recognized educator who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Today, the Montessori approach is the most used pedagogy in the world.  There are over 9000 Montessori schools around the world that teach children these timeless principles. 

In 2007, we are proud to celebrate the Centennial of Montessori Education around the world. 


What is the Montessori Method?

Dr. Montessori believed that education should not just be academic but that it should also be an aid to life.  Montessori is a philosophy and method of education which emphasizes the potential of the child and which develops this potential by using specially designed teaching materials with the guidance of specially trained teachers. 

Montessori recognizes in each child a natural curiosity and a desire to learn.  The Montessori materials awaken this desire and channel this curiosity into a learning experience that each child can enjoy.  Montessori materials help the child to better understand what they learn by associating an abstract concept with a concrete sensorial experience.  In this manner, the Montessori child is actually learning, and not simply memorizing.  The Montessori Method stresses that the child learns and progresses at their own pace so that fast learners are not held back, and slow learners are not frustrated by their inability to keep up.


What are Montessori Materials?

The Montessori classroom offers unique self–teaching materials.  These materials provide stimuli that capture children’s attention and initiate a natural form of concentration.  Children use the specialized materials to develop coordination skills, attention to details and good work habits.  Because the materials are specifically designed to be self-correcting for errors, it allows the children to learn on their own under the guidance of their teacher. 


What is the difference between a traditional classroom and a Montessori classroom?

In a Montessori classroom, children learn according to their own pace using hands on materials.  Materials are introduced to the child systematically depending on the developmental needs of the child.  The classroom is designed to promote self-discipline, responsibility and independence.  There is a creative atmosphere that is relaxed with sufficient classroom structure to encourage learning.


Why do Montessori classrooms have mixed ages?

Montessori classes bring children together in multi-age groups, usually spanning three age levels.  Children stay with their teachers for three years.  This allows teachers to develop close and long-term relationships with their students and encourages a strong sense of community among the children.  In a mixed-age classroom, the younger children have the opportunity to learn by observing their older peers and the older children gain confidence by sharing their experiences.  This interaction fosters independent learning and creates a stimulating classroom atmosphere.


How will my child transition from a Montessori school to a Traditional school?

The skills a child learns in a Montessori program last a lifetime.  When a child leaves the Montessori environment, they have developed concentration, inner self-discipline, social skills and a positive attitude towards learning.  These acquired skills allow the child to easily adjust into a new environment.  They are skills they will utilize throughout life. 


Who are some famous Montessori Alumni?

  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Founders of Google.com
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon.com
  • Katherine Graham, Owner/Editor of The Washington Post
  • Children of Bill & Hillary Clinton, U.S. President
  • Children of Yo Yo Ma, Cellist
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Editor and Former First Lady (John F. Kennedy)
  • Anne Frank, Famous Diarist from World War II
  • Prince William and Prince Harry, English Royal Family
  • David Blaine, Magician and Advocate of "Street Magic"
  • Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia
  • Helen Hunt, Academy award-winning actress
  • George Clooney, Actor


How can I learn more on the Montessori Method?

If you would like to read more about Maria Montessori and her work, we suggest the following titles:

  • The Montessori Method – Maria Montessori
  • The Absorbent Mind – Maria Montessori
  • The Formation of Man – Maria Montessori
  • Education for a New World – Maria Montessori
  • A Montessori Revolution in Education – E.M. Standing
  • Maria Montessori, Her Life and Work – E.M. Standing
  • Montessori for Parents – Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  • A Parent’s Guide to the Montessori Classroom  Aline D. Wolf
  • Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius - Angeline Stoll Lillard
  • Montessori- A Modern Approach   by Paula Polk Lillard