What is Montessori?

Common Misconceptions About Montessori Education

My child is in a traditional school. His teacher says he is too active. Won’t he do better in a Montessori classroom where he can be free to move about?

In the Montessori classroom, children are free to move about for purposeful, work-directed activity that does not disturb other children. If your child is engaging in purposeful activity, his teacher is not likely to describe him as “too active.” He would be praised for his great output of work! A child who has difficulty directing his energy towards work has even greater difficulty in a Montessori classroom because he must continually choose to remain with his work in the face of the freedom to move about. Children who move about excessively without accomplishing work (or who disturb other children) lose the freedom to move about.

Is it true that children can do whatever they want in a Montessori school?

Absolutely not! Children are required to exercise a high degree of self-control, independence, and caring for others. The ground rules in every class and in the school as a whole focus on treating all people and all things with respect at all times. Children are required to spend their class time working productively and peacefully on the curriculum. They are free to move about the room and talk for the purpose of work. They are free to choose activities that move them along through the academic curriculum. They are free to plan their time to balance their free choices of work with the deadlines that have been assigned.

Is Montessori education just for gifted students?

No. Montessori education is for all students who are able to demonstrate self-control, independence, and motivation to work. However, it is of particular advantage to an academically gifted student to attend a Montessori school because, with a mixed age class, she can move ahead in the curriculum at a rapid pace. At the same time, because of the resources freely available in the classroom, the gifted student can participate in many enriching activities daily, including those with a strong emphasis on higher-level thinking skills.

Is Montessori education just for students with learning problems?

No. Montessori education is for all students who are able to demonstrate self-control, independence, and motivation to work. Students with mild learning problems often do well in a Montessori setting because the program is based on the individual needs of the child. We strive to match the method to the child rather than insisting that every child fit in the same mold. We make accommodations in methods of instruction and expectations for student output every day, not just for special learners, but for all students. This makes Montessori a good place for ordinary students as well as those with mild learning problems.

Doesn’t the name Montessori mean this is a private school? Isn’t Montessori just for preschool?

Although at one time in the United States Montessori was primarily found in private and parochial schools, it is currently a very popular public magnet school option, especially in larger cities including Cleveland and Cincinnati. In spite of the importance of preschool in the Montessori system of education, not all public Montessori schools include preschool because state tax dollars are not spent for tuition for three and four year olds. There are many private Montessori preschools but only a few extend up through the elementary years and even fewer through middle school. Maria Montessori started with preschoolers but soon extended her study to older children. She developed a comprehensive plan for education for children ages three through twelve. This plan is called the Montessori Method. Her ideas have been expanded and adapted, so now middle school and even high school Montessori programs are available.

As always, you can contact our school office with any questions about our program. If you are interested in learning more about Montessori Education, please use the following links for your research: