What is the Montessori Approach?

Montessori is an approach to early education that focuses on the immense capacity of children to absorb information when given the freedom and independence to learn at their own pace.  It takes its name from Dr Maria Montessori, whose scientific background and belief in the potential and uniqueness of children empowered her to develop and educational approach that appreciated how children's thought processes differ from those of adults.

What makes the Montessori approach different and what makes it work so well, is that it is based on a deep understanding of the way children learn - through choosing, trying and doing themselves.  Montessori education is characterised by its use of specific equipment and materials.  These guide the child from the simple to the complex, and from the concrete to the abstract.  Many of the pieces of equipment are designed to include a control of error.  This allows the child to recognise their own mistakes, and then correc them.  The control of error ensures that the tast cannot be fully completed unless it is done so correctly.  The usage of these specially developed materials in a prepared developed environment and the close observation and guidance of Montessori trained practionioners leads to a powerful confidence-building approach to learning. 

For further information see "Reach- an introduction to the Montessori movement across the UK"