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Montessori Schools

  • By: Tracey R. Bainter
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Maria Montessori, born in Italy in 1870, developed her own theories of child development and learning, which serve as the foundation for Montessori schools. Montessori believed that schools should be designed to facilitate the natural development and independence of children. Given the freedom to choose their activities and work at their own pace, children take responsibility for their own learning. Opportunities for learning are facilitated through a prepared environment that introduces specific learning materials to children based on their developmental level and interests. Once the materials are introduced to children, they are able to work with them independently thereby satisfying their inner desire to learn. Such an approach is intended to allow children to enhance their self-discipline as they mature from childhood to adulthood.

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