Developed by Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952) the Montessori Method has been used for over 100 years in schools and homes all over the world.

Montessori education is characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child´s natural psychological development. Children are seen as inherently curious and learning driven.

Dr. Maria Montessori, the first female medical graduate of Rome University, became interested in child´s development and she carefully observed how children learnt and what materials they chose to use. Soon she understood that for children to flourish they needed to work in a child-centred environment that supports independence, confidence, self-discipline, mutual respect and social connection. To her, education was a process which should occur in harmony with the child’s individual developmental pace.

The Montessori approach allows children choices and free exploration, thus preparing them to become independent learners. Children discover the world around them through a hands-on approach, rather than the information being landed upon them from above, i.e. they get to touch, feel, see, and experience!

Montessori classrooms promote joyful learning, the child may: 

  • choose an activity that follows his interest,
  • work as long as he needs to, in uninterrupted blocks of time
  • choose a place of activity (table, floor mat,…)
  • decline an invitation, e.g. when a teacher wants to present him a new activity,
  • move freely with respect to others,
  • communicate with others, 
  • observe others in their activity, i.e. the child has the freedom to do “nothing” (to observe = to learn).  

Montessori teachers have quite a different role than those of classic educational methods. The teacher is there to be an aid in the child’s independent learning process, she decides which learning materials will be available and how they will be organized. She then takes a step back, allows free exploration, and is there to give guidance and a helping hand.

In order to maintain and develop her pedagogy Maria Montessori founded in 1929 the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). It is a recognized international authority for Montessori education that has nowadays training centres in more than 30 countries worldwide.