Developing life-long learners in a specially prepared environment
Milwaukee Public Schools offers the nation’s largest collection of public Montessori schools.
The Montessori method is based on the research of Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori (1870-1952), who developed the educational philosophy after scientifically observing children in learning environments. Dr. Montessori found that children have the effortless ability to absorb knowledge from their surroundings and develop confidence by teaching themselves.
She developed educational plans based on the natural behavior of a child, untouched by adult commands, classroom competition or regimented schedules. Dr. Montessori’s philosophy remains the foundation of an astounding educational practice today.
A Montessori education is developed to foster lifelong learners and self-sufficient problem solvers. Classrooms exhibit distinctive characteristics, including multi-graded students and flexible schedules that allow students blocks of uninterrupted time to pursue their own educational interests.
Learning takes place through the senses, as students manipulate materials to enhance concentration and coordination while interacting with peers. Teachers balance freedom and structure, guiding students along in self-discovery and helping them create their own individual learning plan.
Classroom materials and activities are carefully designed to develop physical, intellectual, creative and social independence. A Montessori teacher considers each student as a whole, recognizing that a student’s physical, mental, emotional and social well-being is intricately involved in the learning process. Classroom atmospheres encourage respect for the self and others, social support, cooperative learning and peer-to-peer teaching.
Montessori teachers place great focus on developing a partnership with families. The family plays an important role in student growth and development, and Montessori teachers and staff aim for students to consider self-discovery as an interactive activity that continues within the home alongside family members. A Montessori education encourages families to help young learners realize their own unique talents and interests while developing a healthy curiosity about the world.