What is Montessori?

Carmel Montessori School

“Education is the kindling of a flame,

not the filling of a vessel.”


Dr. Maria Montessori developed the Montessori Pedagogy.  Born in 1817 in Ancona, Italy, Dr. Montessori became one of the first female physicians in Italy in 1896.  She opened her first Children’s House (referred to as a Casa de Bambini) in January of 1907 to test her child development theories.  Her theories were founded from the idea that education is an aide to life and all education starts at birth.  All who come in contact with a child are the teachers of that child.  She soon discovered that children have three inner teachers that guide and grow the child’s personality: an Absorbent Mind, Human Tendencies and Sensitive Periods.  Together with these inner teachers, Dr. Montessori grouped children based on their respective Plane of Development.  It is why the Toddler program houses children from 12 months to 3 years; the Primary program houses children from age 3 to 6; and the Elementary program houses children from 6-12.

Montessori Education has eight distinct principles that can be found in any authentic classroom.

Montessori 101