– Maria Montessori
The Montessori Method is the method of teaching developed by Dr. Maria Montessori. She was one of Italy’s first female MD’s, and was given the assignment to work with young children. Over her more than three decades of educating children, she established many ideals and a philosophy to help children learn. She encouraged individualized teaching through the use of concrete materials rather than abstract theory. Through the use of the five senses and manipulative (hands-on) materials, the child is allowed to progress at his/her own, individual learning rate. The prepared environment encourages the child to use the abilities that are innate to him or her.
A study done by Angeline Lillard at the University of Virginia published in the Journal of School Psychology in 2012 studied children in Montessori programs versus children in Conventional programs. She found that children in Classic Montessori programs showed significantly greater school-year gains on measures of executive function, reading, math, vocabulary, and social problem-solving.