Return to Headlines

Learn More About Montessori


Montessori is a personalized approach to learning which recognizes that each child learns with a unique style and pace, and that children learn best in a prepared environment which supports and respects their individual development. It is also based on the premise that the intellectual, physical and social needs of children are inseparable and equally important. The century-old Montessori method is based on how children learn naturally, and many believe it is the way every child should have the opportunity to learn. Montessori students develop positive attitudes about learning, a positive image of themselves as learners and a strong sense of independence and responsibility. The Montessori experience produces self-motivated, independent learners with characteristics that benefit them throughout their school years and into adulthood.

Montessori Materials

(alt text: number tiles, counting beads, and wooden bowls sit on a Montessori cream-colored rug). 

It's All About the Individual Child

Teachers may introduce a new concept to the whole class or a small group, but thereafter, instruction is totally individualized, based on the interests, needs and developmental level of each child. Teachers scientifically observe students working at individual tasks to assess their progress, learning styles and interests. As students master each task, the teacher gently guides them to a new challenge, allowing them to move ahead at their own pace.

Engaged in Hands On Learning

Hands-on experiences replace rote learning in Montessori classrooms, where the environment captures and builds on children¡s natural curiosity. Students are actively engaged throughout the day, using specially designed materials that provide concrete, multi-sensory learning experiences. They learn everything from the alphabet to math and geography by physically handling tangible objects and materials, which is how children learn naturally and best. The Montessori classroom changes and grows with the developmental needs of each child.

student working with Montessori materials

(Alt text: a child in a pink shirt bends over a cream rug to make a chain of long beads)

In Small, Multi-Aged Classrooms

From Pre-K through 5th grade, small classes allow teachers and paraprofessionals to observe and direct students individually. Multi-age classrooms foster a sense of community, promote mutual respect and allow learning to be reinforced between older and younger students. Children "absorb" learning by observing other children and are not interrupted when they are doing so. In the home-like setting, filled with developmentally appropriate materials, students learn to return materials to proper places, clean-up after themselves and resolve their own conflicts. Learning grace and courtesy is an integral part of the Montessori curriculum.

With Highly Trained Staff.

All Erwin teachers hold state licenses for elementary education and receive training for teaching in a Montessori classroom. Paraprofessionals work with teachers and also receive additional training.


Is Montessori right for your child? Find out more about the Montessori approach to teaching and schedule a visit to Erwin to decide.

American Montessori Society-- Introduction to Montessori Method

Great!Schools.Org Cool School Models Series-- Inside a Montessori School

Great!Schools.Org-- The Inside Scoop On Montessori Schools

Montessori Public-- New Study: Public Montessori Raises Achievement, Closes Gaps

UVAToday Study-- Montessori Education Erases income Achievement Gap