How would you describe the Montessori method to someone who has no previous experience with it?
“The Montessori method is an educational theory developed by Maria Montessori over 100 years ago. It took into account the child 's developmental and emotional needs and designed classrooms and materials where children learn and grow at their own pace in academics and life skills, as well as basic grace and courtesies."
How is a Montessori program different from other preschool programs?
“We try to provide the children with real opportunities to do real things like things they see their parents doing at home that keep the household community running. For example, instead of a play kitchen which is common in many preschools, we have real kitchen items and the children prepare real food and they have access to real knives and the oven. We have children iron and the iron really gets hot. We teach them how to use all of these things safely and how to use the real items instead of pretend with items that aren’t real. That’s one way, the other is that Maria Montessori identified that the child from birth through age six has what she called an absorbent mind which means they are taking in everything in the environment and their learning is effortless for most of them most of the time. She felt like we should introduce what we would call academic skills early on because the children are able to learn those. So we start teaching them right away how to recognize letter sounds and how to write with those sounds and how to read and start working with numbers and simple mathematical operations right away when they are very young. Also it’s individualized, the lessons are given...
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...terials too. There’s a purpose and intent, something that the child is supposed to take from every material. AMI is maybe more theory based. It’s often either a three summer program or a one full academic year program. When you are AMI trained you do short amounts of practice teaching whereas AMS you go for one summer and then you spend a year practicing teaching. I would say that an AMS trained guide probably learns as much from the teacher that they are placed with as they do from the trainers. At AMI you learn more from your trainers so it’s kept the training very pure, whereas an AMS teacher is learning a lot from a teacher that they’re with who may have changed and adapted things for her classroom over the years or decided what works best for her. I would say that AMI is maybe more pure. AMI is the organization developed by Maria Montessori, AMS is an offshoot.”
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