Irish Montessori Education Board - Bord Oideachais Montessori Eireann


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Montessori Method

I have studied the child. 
I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it
and that is what is called the Montessori method”

Maria Montessori

Montessori Education – A Foundation for Life

Montessori regarded the purpose of education as helping the full development of the individual, allowing the children to grow and develop in a natural way.  The Montessori classroom is central to that development.  The classroom or environment is prepared to meet the needs of each child and provides him/her with an opportunity to achieve his/her full potential.  A typical Montessori class includes children of mixed age groups, boys and girls and one or two children with special educational needs.

Montessori created an extensive range of learning materials, which reflect the curriculum in Montessori schools.  These educational materials provide children with opportunities for exploration and discovery appropriate to their age and stage of development.  Each piece of learning material provides the feedback that allows the children to correct their own mistakes and direct their own learning.  This helps children accept mistakes as a positive part of learning and in this way builds confidence and self esteem.

The learning materials are generally grouped in to five subject areas, Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics, Language and Cultural.  All the materials for each area are arranged on open shelving at the children’s height so they have continued access to them.  The children must be introduced to the material at the appropriate stage in their development for maximum benefit.  Then the children have the freedom to explore these materials at their own pace, interest and level of ability.

The children choose spontaneously from the shelves throughout the work period.  As the children’s exploration continues with the materials, they make connections and relationships between different activities.

The materials reflect the curriculum for the different age groups.  Montessori classes place children in the three-year age groups:

  • Primary class – 3 years to 6 years olds
  • Elementary One – 6 years to 9 years olds
  • Elementary Two – 9 years to 12 years old

The arrangement of the materials corresponds with these age groupings.

For the Montessori educator college begins in primary class.

“The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six.  For that is the time when mans’ intelligence itself, his greatest implement, is being formed.  … at no other age has the child greater need of an intelligent help and any obstacle that impedes his creative work will lessen the chance he has of achieving perfection.”

Maria Montessori


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