You may have heard the word Montessori thrown around a lot, but it is not a trend. It has been around for well over a century now. The Montessori method is rooted in self-guided, discovery-based learning in a carefully equipped environment. Children learn with minimal, if any, adult intervention, gaining confidence and incomparably pure love of learning. You know the word, now let’s see what Montessori all about and where to seek out the schools in Kuala Lumpur!
Dr. Maria Montessori was a pioneer in many ways, but most importantly for us, in 1907, she started applying her methods when teaching poor kids in the slums of Rome. She observed that children went through "sensitive periods" when they displayed a heightened interest in acquiring certain skills, like learning to talk and beginning to socialize, and thus shed new light on child development. The Montessori method has a "curriculum" of prescribed activities, from which kids choose the ones they are guided towards by their innate interest. They learn concepts through hands-on exploration and a constructivist approach. Most importantly, they are allowed to learn at their own pace in an environment meticulously tailored to give them maximum exposure to possibilities for creative choices and growth (Montessori herself believed this kind of education would contribute to world peace!). A wide range of practices go by the name of "Montessori," but they need to fulfill the following conditions:
The goal is to establish vertical streaming in which care and guidance trickle down when needed and learning is collaborative and often project-based, so the classes are a mix of kids of different ages (2½ or 3 to 6 years, but their Montessori classes exist for younger and older kids both as well) and abilities that form a little society. The kids socialize in a clutter-free space and interact with each other and the intentionally displayed materials around the classroom.
The materials are thoughtfully arranged on the child-sized shelves to stimulate the children in an independent discovery that corresponds to their physical, mental, and social phase of development. The materials are developed by Montessori and her collaborators to serve as teachers themselves as they are self-correcting, made of natural materials, and aesthetically pleasing. It's the healthiest eye candy there is.
The teacher is required to be highly trained and experienced in observing a child's individual qualities and needs. They introduce an activity but otherwise remain silent. The kids decide when they need help and help is available when needed, but teachers don't use direct instructions on their own initiative and only take note, leaving the kiddos to explore and teach themselves!
Peter & Jane Kindergarten, www.pnjkindergarten.com
A Star Kids Montessori, www.astarkids.com
Babies Casa Montessori International Preschool, www.babiescasa.com
Blissdale Montessori Preschool, www.blissdalemontessori.com
Brainy Bunch (Islamic Montessori), www.brainybunch.com
British Montessori Lighthouse Center, www.britedu.co
Children's Discovery House, www.childrensdiscoveryhouse.com
Children's World Montessori, www.cw-montessori.com
Dripping Colours Montessori, www.drippingcolours.com
Knowledge Tree Montessori, www.knowledgetree.my
Little Bee Montessori Pre-School, www.pjbee.com
Little Playhouse, www.littleplayhouse.com.my
Montessori Kids Academy, www.montessorikidsacademykl.com
My Montessori School, www.myms.my/index.html
Rimbun Montessori, www.rimbunmontessori.com
Sparkles Montessori, www.sparklesmontessori.com.my
The Growing Tree, www.thegrowingtree.com.my
The Junior Academy, www.livingmontessori.com.my
The Montessori Place, www.themontessoriplace.com.my
Tree Top House, www.treetophouse.com.my
Programs which compliment Montessori: whitelodge.edu.my/our-learning/curriculum
More Resources: www.facebook.com/Montessori.Association.Malaysia