What is Montessori?

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The Montessori method is a teaching approach which has gained significant attention in recent years. Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori over a century ago, this approach offers a unique perspective on learning that continues to resonate with parents and educators worldwide.

It is founded on the belief that children are inherently curious and capable of directing their own learning journey. Rather than traditional teacher-led instruction, Montessori classrooms are carefully prepared environments where children are encouraged to explore, discover, and learn at their own pace.

In a Montessori classroom there are a few different ways that children are empowered to grow their independence.

The Environment

The Montessori classroom is orderly, and every activity has its designated space. Each item is laid out thoughtfully to support children's independence and organised logically to ensure consistency and predictability, allowing for children to feel secure in their exploration. Dale, the Centre Manager at BestStart Montessori The Gardens explains "Through a well ordered and predictable learning environment children choose their own self-contained work to complete. It allows children to have freedom of choice and they are encouraged to be disciplined and as self-directed as possible."


“Within the Montessori method children have freedom of choice which is only limited by the materials available” says Dale. This allows children to take full responsibility for their choices in a safe constructive way. This autonomy fosters a sense of responsibility and self-discipline from an early age, as children learn to follow their interests and respond to their own needs.

Practical Life Skills

Through engaging in practical tasks that mirror everyday life, children not only develop essential life skills but also gain a sense of responsibility over their environment. Whether it's learning to button a shirt or prepare a snack, these often-mundane activities are important in fostering self-confidence and self-sufficiency. By embracing practical life experiences in their education, Montessori empowers children to navigate the complexities of the world with confidence and competence.

If you are interested in seeing what the Montessori Method looks like in action, pop into one of our twelve Montessori Centres throughout the country for a visit!

BestStart Montessori The Gardens
BestStart Montessori Arrowtown
BestStart Montessori Bethlehem
BestStart Montessori Flagstaff
BestStart Montessori Johnsonville
BestStart Montessori Kilbirnie
BestStart Montessori Mosgiel
BestStart Montessori Otumoetai
BestStart Montessori Rongotai
BestStart Montessori St Albans
BestStart Montessori Taradale
BestStart Montessori The Childrens House