Hermosa Montessori

Hermosa Montessori School

The Montessori Method

Montessori is both a philosophy and psychology of child growth and development, and an educational system for guiding such growth. 

About the Montessori Method

Montessori is both a philosophy and psychology of child growth and development, and an educational system for guiding such growth. Carefully prepared learning environments are designed to meet the developmental stages of students from preschool through adolescence. Active, individualized learning is maintained through stimulating, multi-sensory teaching materials. The program is designed to recognize students self-motivation at all levels.

A Montessori program also recognizes that the most important years of growth are the first six years of life when unconscious learning is gradually brought to a conscious level. A Montessori program understands that children love to learn, that each child is unique, and that children develop at their own rate. Children should be encouraged, exposed, and challenged – not pushed.


How Did the Montessori Method Begin?

Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman to graduate from the University of Rome Medical School, became interested in education as a doctor treating children with special needs. After returning to the University for further study, she began her work with normal children in 1907 when she was invited to organize schools in a reconstructed slum area of San Lorenzo, Italy. Later, she traveled world-wide lecturing about her discoveries, and founding schools. She has written approximately fifteen volumes and numerous articles about education. She influenced the work of Piaget, Erikson, and numerous other child development specialists. Dr. Montessori died in 1952.

Montessori education was introduced to the United States in 1912, with one of the early schools being established by Alexander Graham Bell in his own home. According to the International Montessori Index there are an estimated 4000 Montessori schools in the US and 7000 worldwide

Montessori Education vs. Traditional Education

A Montessori program and certified teachers implement a program that is different than the traditional educational program most parents remember from their youth. Here are some of the things you can expect from a Montessori program vs. a traditional school method.


  1. Emphasis on cognitive structures and social development
  2. Teacher’s role is unobtrusive; child actively participates in learning
  3. Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline
  4. Individual and group instruction adapts to each student’s learning style
  5. Mixed age grouping
  6. Children encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other
  7. Child chooses own work from interests, abilities
  8. Child formulates concepts from self-teaching materials
  9. Child works as long as s/he wants on chosen project
  10. Child sets own learning pace to internalize information
  11. Child spots own errors through feedback from material
  12. Learning is reinforced internally through child’s own repetition of activity, internal feelings of success repetition
  13. Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration development
  14. Organized program for learning care of self and self-care environment (shoe polishing, sink washing, etc.)
  15. Child can work where s/he is comfortable, moves and talks at will (yet doesn’t disturb others); group work is voluntary and negotiable
  16. Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori Method


  1. Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development
  2. Teacher’s role is dominant, active; child is a passive participant
  3. Teacher is primary enforcer of external discipline
  4. Individual and group instruction conforms to the adults’ teaching style
  5. Same age grouping
  6. Most teaching done by teacher and collaboration is discouraged
  7. Curriculum structured with little regard for child’s interests
  8. Child is guided to concepts by teacher
  9. Child usually given specific time for work
  10. Instruction pace set by group norm or teacher
  11. Errors corrected by teacher
  12. Learning is reinforced externally by rewards, discouragements
  13. Few materials for sensory, concrete manipulation
  14. Little emphasis on instruction or classroom maintenance
  15. Child assigned seat; encouraged to sit still and listen during group sessions
  16. Voluntary parent involvement, often only as fundraisers, not participants in understanding the learning process