Primary Program
4755 Prosperity Church Road
Charlotte, NC 28269

(704) 503-6000

Elementary and Secondary Programs
9026 Mallard Creek Road
Charlotte, NC 28262


Montessori 101

Video created by Maddie Bryant, Countryside Montessori School student

Dr. Maria Montessori was one of the first woman in Italy to earn a medical degree. Her greatest contribution, however, was in the field of education. After deliberate study and observation of children she formulated a belief in children and their capabilities in learning. She believed children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who are different from one another. She believed that children possess unusual sensitivity and mental powers for absorbing and learning from their environment, which include people as well as hands-on materials.

The Aim

The aim of the Montessori approach is to help children acquire the self-confidence and self-motivation needed to fulfill their own potential. This is achieved by building on their interests, nurturing their enthusiasm, and making activities available that fit their individual needs. Emphasis is on inner motivation, using children's natural curiosity, and delight in discovery.
The Children
Children of mixed ages and abilities work together in a Montessori class. Grouping permits independent development, cooperative learning, and allows children to teach one another. Children may choose whichever activity suits their particular stage of development; progressing from that point, at their own pace, in their own time. Children may work at a task uninterrupted for as long as they choose provided they are respectful to others. While they are not required to work together, the cooperative nature of the class encourages easy and social relationships.
The Classroom
Designed for independent work, the classrooms are each equipped with a full array of hands-on Montessori materials, teacher made materials, and up-to-to-date learning equipment for each stage of development. The classrooms are large and airy with plenty of space for individual and group work. They also include areas designed to aid large and small muscle development. The outside environments offer wonderful opportunities for nature walks and study which expand the classroom walls outdoors.
The Teacher
The teacher is a guide to the children as they move around the room. Recognizing that learning is a voluntary act, the teacher helps the students to choose their own activity, shows them how to do each task as they are ready for it, and record their progress. The children's work is corrected in a positive way. Teachers reinforce jobs well done and offer ways in which to improve. Our highly trained faculty members have an average tenure of 10+ years teaching at Countryside. Each member brings their own unique and useful experiences to their positions, as well as a thorough knowledge and dedication to meeting the developmental needs of the children.

"An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the child's energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery."
-Maria Montessori in The Absorbent Mind
The Proven Advantages of a Montessori Education
Research shows that the principles of Montessori education positively affect learning outcomes for children of all ages:
  • Montessori intertwines movement and learning, and research shows that movement enhances learning and cognition.
  • Montessori allows choice in the learning environment, and research shows that choice leads to an enhanced sense of control, which optimizes learning.
  • Montessori education stimulates interest in learning through the environment and the presentation of materials, and research shows a positive correlation between interest and learning.
  • Extrinsic rewards such as gold stars have been shown to have a negative effect on learning; Montessori education emphasizes intrinsic motivation over extrinsic forms.
  • Montessori education allows learning from peers, and recent research has identified many benefits of collaborative learning.
  • Montessori classrooms stress meaningful contexts for learning, and research has shown that this produces deeper and richer learning than learning in abstract contexts.
  • The teacher styles used in the Montessori classroom stress warmth, sensitivity, and high standards, and this interactive style is associated with optimal learning outcomes.
  • Montessori education provides an ordered learning environment that allows more freedom than traditional classrooms. The freedom within an ordered environment produces the positive features and outcomes described above.

    Source: A. S. Lillard, Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius

    "With Graduates Like These We Must Be Doing Something Right" -- Copyright 2007 by M: The Magazine for Montessori Families

Recommend Websites:
(American Montessori Society)
AMI (American Montessori Internationale)
Like To Read (Tips to help your child enjoy reading)
MACTE (Montessori Accrediting Committee for Teacher Education)
NAMTA (National American Montessori Teachers Association)
SAIS (Southern Association of Independent Schools)

site by: the visual studio