What is Montessori? How is the Montessori method different? What does ‘following the child’ actually mean? What makes it relevant around the world, and applicable to every child?

Our new, free, online short course, ‘What is Montessori?‘, answers these questions and more, giving an introduction into Maria Montessori and her approach.

Even today, the Montessori method of education remains firmly rooted in the celebration of the uniqueness of each child; this means her ideas and view of children is as relevant today as it was over 100 years ago.

Montessori envisioned a more peaceful, compassionate society coming about from a change in the adult’s view of children and childhood:

The fundamental problem in education is not an educational problem at all; it is a social one. It consists in the establishment of a new and better relationship between the two great sections of society – children and adults.’  Maria Montessori in ‘Maria Montessori: Her life and work’, E.M. Standing, 1998.

The core principle ‘We must meet the needs of the child’ evolved from answering two simple questions: What are the needs of the child, and how can we best meet them? Montessori was a scientist at heart – that is what she knew best. She carefully studied the children she worked with; watching how they chose apparatus that interested them, listening to what they told her. If a child showed an interest in a particular area, she followed it up.

Although they are all following the same approach, every Montessori childminder, nursery or school will have a different setup; to be truly child-led, it will reflect the children who are attending, and the community in which it is based. This course will help you to understand more about child-led learning, and its real-life application.

In this short course, we outline the benefits of the Montessori work cycle; an uninterrupted block of time, usually between 2 and 3 hours, in which children are free to engage in activities that interest them. We look at why freedom is so important in the Montessori approach, and how limits can be set within that freedom.

This course is the perfect starting point for those who are completely new to Montessori. We start at the beginning with a gentle introduction to Maria Montessori’s beliefs, and move on to how she came to form her philosophy, how it is applied in practical terms, and how that translates to early years education today. Start your free course today, or take a look at the other Montessori short courses we have on offer: openlearning.montessori.org.uk.