The Montessori Teaching Method – Life Lessons and Creative Play

american montessori society pic

american montessori society

The Fountainhead Montessori School of Pleasant Hill, California, approaches child education with a focus on inspiring a love of learning and promoting development on a social and emotional level. In order to establish an environment that fosters well-rounded children, the Fountainhead Montessori School in Pleasant Hill, like all Montessori schools, utilizes Maria Montessori’s teaching methods.

The Montessori philosophy emphases the importance of treating every child as an individual and tailoring lessons to suit their mental, physical, and emotional stage of development. It supports hands-on learning and encourages children to explore their environment and use creative thinking to find solutions to problems. Activities are designed to make use of all five senses and to be enjoyable in order to fully engage children in the learning process.

Developed by Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori, the philosophy was created to help children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who were labeled as “hopeless” by educators of the time. As she continued to observe children and experiment with new methods to engage them, she formed the idea that education should prepare children for life rather than school alone.

Her teaching approach identified three interdependent components: the child, the instructor, and the prepared environment. Furthermore, she reasoned that prepared environments must consist of features, supplies, and aesthetics designed specifically for children and required regular updates to present new challenges and lessons. Children in prepared environments learn by interacting with their surroundings and one another with guidance and support from their instructor.

Modern curriculums derived from the Montessori philosophy are reality-based and use imaginative play to help children build character, learn social skills, and acquire an understanding of the world around them. Lessons include scientific language and materials and avoid the use of fantasy tropes, such as superheroes, talking animals, and fictional creatures. Children participate in activities that teach control and coordination of movement, and they learn practical skills for caring for their environment, themselves, and one another.

To learn more about the use of Montessori methods in modern American schools, visit the Montessori website at


What Is the Professional Association for Childhood Education (PACE)?

Professional Association for Childhood pic

Professional Association for Childhood

Based in Northern California, Fountainhead Montessori at Pleasant Hill is a school for children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years. Committed to the natural development of children in a personalized environment, Pleasant Hill and the four additional campuses of Fountainhead Montessori maintain membership in the Professional Association for Childhood Education (PACE).

Founded in 1955, PACE brings California educators and early care professionals together in the interest of supporting the development, safety, and wellbeing of young children. In order to promote a higher quality of early education, PACE members are eligible for professional programs that focus on areas of teaching skills, management techniques, and curriculum development. Additionally, PACE serves as a means for practitioners to network and consult with associates on policy and technique.

PACE also provides institutions with access to tools to help maintain current safety and licensing practices. The PACE Licensing Tune-Up Kit allows individual schools to evaluate their health and safety standards to make sure they meet requirements set by groups like the Department of Social Services and the Community Care Licensing Division.

Differences between a Montessori Classroom and a Public School

With campuses in Pleasant Hill and other California locales, Fountainhead Montessori offers high-quality, child-led educational programming for children. By following the Montessori approach to education, Fountainhead Montessori offers children in Pleasant Hill and other communities the opportunity to learn using all five senses. Additionally, the school offers opportunities for parents to learn more about Montessori education by observing their children in the classroom.

A Montessori classroom environment features an array of specially designed materials that students use to develop understanding of key concepts and skills. Unlike a traditional educational setting, children work at their own pace, with teachers offering gentle guidance rather than instruction. By allowing children to set the pace of their own learning, Montessori environments help children develop autonomy and creative thinking skills that will help them approach future challenges.

Unlike public schools, private Montessori schools do not provide grades as measures of student’s progress. Instead, teachers will conduct conferences and/or provide written narratives to parents to provide detail on each child’s development.