Gables Montessori Blog

Invite Discovery



Montessori-structured lessons are the “work” or procedures for each set of materials. A teacher may give a lesson to a child or small group of children, another child may give a lesson, a child may learn how a lesson works by watching others, or a child may explore certain types of materials freely.

For a young child, the Montessori-structured lesson may be silent and may be only a few moments long. This lesson models a method for laying work on a mat or table in an orderly fashion. The lesson helps children develop work habits, organization skills, and general thinking strategy, but it never teaches children the answers.

Teaching children the answers steals their chance to make exciting discoveries on their own—whether the child is a baby wondering “Can I reach that rattle?,” a preschooler contemplating “Why did this tower of cubes fall down?,” an elementary school student pondering “When you divide fractions, why do you invert and multiply?,” or a high school student puzzling “How does city council operate?”

For students of every age, the Montessori environment offers the tools to discover the answers to their own questions. The teacher is their trusted ally and the learning materials are their tools for discovery, growth, and development. The teacher stays with the students for the entire span of their multi-age grouping, usually 2 or 3 years, nurturing each child’s development over that extended span of time.

Elementary and high school materials build on the earlier Montessori materials foundation. Because older students have built a solid foundation from their concrete learning, they move gracefully into abstract thinking, which transforms their learning. Now they learn how to carry out research. At these upper levels, students broaden their focus to include the community and beyond. They learn through service and firsthand experience. The Montessori materials support responsible interactive learning and discovery.


American Montessori Society

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