Montessori FAQ


Frequently asked questions

Q. What is the Montessori Method?

The Montessori Method is an educational approach developed over 100 years ago 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. Now, nearly a century after Dr. Maria Montessori’s first Casa dei Bambini (“Children’s House”) in Rome, Montessori education is found all over the world, spanning ages from birth to adolescence.

Q. What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education?

Montessori education supports the individual personality and learning style of each child. It promotes the total development of the child and of the adult he becomes. The focus is learning how to learn, rather than what to learn. In a Montessori classroom children are free to move about the classroom choosing their work appropriate for their current stage of development. They are able to work at their own pace allowing the faster learners to move ahead and slower learners to take more time to gain a complete understanding of the topic. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning.

Q. What special training do Montessori teachers have?

Wheatley School has a very dedicated, nurturing and high quality faculty. They are all properly qualified to teach the age, grade or program they are teaching. Our Montessori faculty, Toddler to Grade 4, has been trained in Montessori Training Centres and is certified to teach in a Montessori classroom. Their training is certified by either the American Montessori Society (AMS), Toronto Montessori Institute (TMI) or Association Montessori International (AMI). Our Upper Elementary Faculty, Grades 5-8, is certified by the Ministry of Education and all hold an Ontario Teaching Certificate. All Faculty, working with our students in or out of class, is required to have a criminal reference check.

Q. Is Montessori good for children with learning disabilities?

    What about gifted children?

Montessori is designed to help all children reach their full potential at their own unique pace. A classroom whose children have varying abilities is a community in which everyone learns from one another and everyone contributes.

Q. Are Montessori children successful later in life?

Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situations.

Excerpt from the North American Montessori Teacher’ Association

I have studied the child. I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it and that is what is called the Montessori Method.