Montessori FAQ

Q. Where did Montessori come from? 
A. Montessori education was founded in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician. She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children's learning processes. Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Montessori designed a "prepared environment" in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. 

Q. What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education? 
A. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own, individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, or reading. 

Students in the Birchwood Public Montessori are in multi-level classrooms.  The Children's House has Pre-K to Kindergarten students, E-1 had 1st-3rd grade students, and E-2 has 4th-6th grade students.  The ideas behind this is that communities are formed in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones. 

Q. Is the Montessori a religious school?
A. No, the Birchwood Public Montessori is one of the 4 educational opportunities in the Birchwood School system.  Students in the Montessori classrooms are an equal part of the public school system and are not in any way religious.

Q. What type of child is the Montessori a "good" fit for?
A. Montessori is designed to help all children reach their fullest potential at their own unique pace. This environment can be a great fit for any student regardless of their ability or disability.  This creates a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes. A student can find his or her own pace without feeling "ahead" or "behind" in relation to peers.