Montessori methodology closely follows the work of Maria Montessori, who pioneered this innovative education pedagogy in the early 1900s.
For parents and potential Montessori educators, one of the frequently asked questions is, “How do I know if the school I am visiting is a real Montessori school?” Here is a link to a helpful rubric to use to evaluate programs as you visit various Montessori schools: Rubric of Essential Montessori Elements.
Montessori methodology focuses on “following the child,” a concept that has at its core an abiding belief that children and adolescents have an innate drive to seek out knowledge. Montessori schools are founded on the presupposition that children and adolescents are intensely curious about the world around them and desire to make that world a better place in which to live.
Some basic qualities of Montessori education include:
- A carefully prepared environment that is supportive of a variety of academic pursuits
- Multi-grade, multi-level classrooms where students can find both learning peers and social peers
- Teachers who are trained in “following the child” toward higher academic goals
- Small group instruction within a larger community of learners
- Individualized work plans that allow students to work toward individual goals, to maximize their education
- Authentic and relevant learning opportunities through service learning
- An environment where personal choice and self-direction take precedent over prescribed learning goals
- Students motivated by intrinsic factors, instead of extrinsic rewards
- A commitment to empathy and peace in interpersonal as well as interactions in the larger community
The time-tested “Montessori” educational model and name is over 100 years old. It remains a cutting-edge model of education, with proven outcomes, if fully implemented. In order to maintain our commitment to providing a superlative, authentic Montessori school system, Lakeland Montessori requires:
- all lead classroom teachers must hold or be enrolled to receive their Montessori credentials for the age levels they are teaching. Separate, specific Montessori credentials are required for age 3-6, age 6-9, age 9-12, and age 12-15. For example, a teacher that is Montessori certified for age 3-6 may not teach age 9-12 students unless they hold or are enrolled to receive the Montessori credential for that age level.
- all lead classroom teachers must hold or be enrolled to receive Montessori credentials issued by a Montessori teacher education program that is accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE).
- all lead classroom teachers must have a Bachelor’s Degree.
- all lead classroom teachers must have a State of Florida Teaching Certificate.