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What is the Montessori Method of Education?

Montessori schools can be found worldwide. There’s at least a dozen in New York City alone. So, what is the Montessori teaching style and why is it so popular?


The Montessori method of education began with an innovative lady named Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952). She believed that all children have an inner natural guidance for his or her own perfect self-directed development. She came upon this discovery during an experimental observation of children who were given freedom in an environment prepared with materials designed for their self-directed learning activity.

Teachers who apply this method watch over the children and their environment and remove obstacles that could possibly interfere with the student’s natural ability to guide him/herself in learning. Generally, the Montessori method is used with small children (ages 2-6), because of the younger child’s unique perspective to what is around him/her.

Remember, when applying to a Montessori school in New York City, not all schools are identical. Dr. Montessori’s name is very well known, but is not a trademark; therefore, schools can differ in their interpretation, practical application, and philosophy when using this method with children.

The Montessori method of teaching is associated with many professional educator associations. In New York City, The American Montessori Association (AMS), 281 Park Avenue South, trains teachers, offers conferences and publishes newsletters and quarterlies.

The following is a list of some of the Montessori schools in NYC (list provided by the AMS):

And many others. Keep an eye on the NYC Private School Blog for reviews of Montessori based schools.

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