An environment for creativity and learning

Why Montessori

There are many principles that set a Montessori education apart from others. If you’ve visited other schools, you’ll probably notice the differences. We strive to provide an academic environment that also enhances self-esteem and develops a strong sense of individual responsibility and community.

Spend some time in the classroom and on our campus. What do you observe?

  • 1. Does a child have an opportunity to choose work that interests him/her?
  • We think the child learns more when working on interesting materials that appeal to the child at that time of their development.
  • 2. Does the teacher act as a guide or is the teacher the source of all knowledge?
  • If the teacher is always “the front of the room,” what motivates the child to investigate, explore, and learn?
  • 3. Do the children have a regular opportunity to work with children of different ages?
  • Scientific studies have confirmed that both the oldest and youngest in a multi-age classroom learn more than in the traditional one-grade room.
  • 4. Is the emphasis on cognitive structures and social development rather than rote knowledge?
  • There is so much to learn, and that is changing so quickly, that rote memorization is of little use. The child must learn HOW to learn.
  • 5. Does the school encourage internal self-discipline rather than the teacher acting as primary enforcer of external discipline?
  • The child must develop the ability to pay attention and stay on task, and that must come from within, not from a “task master.”
  • 6. Are the children encouraged to teach, collaborate and help each other regularly?
  • In the real world, successful people are those who can work well with others. Yet many traditional classrooms discourage cooperation.
  • 7. Can a child work as long as he or she wants on an interesting challenge without being stopped by a bell or a “period change?”
  • Who knows when the child has learned all he is ready for at that moment? He or she needs a large block of time not interrupted by arbitrary schedules.
  • 8. Is learning its own reward, not “motivated” by prizes and extrinsic rewards?
  • Prizes and grades encourage competitiveness and discourage cooperation. A child who is really learning finds a joy that far exceeds any teacher-produced reward.
  • 9. Are multi-sensory “hands on” materials in regular use?
  • What’s learned from workbooks and practice sheets is superficially learned if at all. Montessori provides three-dimensional equipment that makes learning fun.
  • 10. Can the child choose a favorite spot to work instead of being restricted to a desk and seat?
  • Some learning needs extra space. And if there is more than one learner, even more space is required. A school desk doesn’t always work.
  • 11. Are the children respectful of the teacher and the environment?
  • In the Montessori environment the teacher is a learning companion and guide.
  • 12. Are the children nice to each other?
  • Nobody is happy working in a threatening atmosphere of criticism and sarcasm. That’s why we emphasize courtesy and empathy.
  • 13. Is the environment organized and attractive?
  • The Montessori environment is organized around the interests and stages of the child’s development.
  • 14. Do the teachers and staff show respect for the children?
  • Children in the Montessori class are given the amount of freedom they can handle. They are not required to always be in lines or carrying passes.
  • 15. Are the children calm?
  • Our students have the self-confidence to be quiet, sociable and agreeable.

Montessori Students - Montessori School of Camden - Camden, South Carolina

Montessori students and lessons - Montessori School of Camden - Camden, South Carolina