In 1907, Maria Montessori founded the first Montessori school in Rome. Its overall purpose was to give four to seven year old children from low-income families a full-day educational program. The idea quickly developed and grew in popularity and thus more Montessori schools were formed in Europe and India. It did not take long for the school method to cross over to the United States of America.
In fact, Montessori’s teaching methods created great interest in the United States from 1910 through 1920. Unfortunately, Montessori’s methods seem to be largely forgotten in the United States until the late 1950s. It was around that time when a second Montessori movement started in America. This time, the main focus was on a set of private schools that served an almost entirely middle-class population.
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The Montessori educational system struggled with it’s own success when it started having trouble finding enough teachers. In fact, it took that teacher shortage to start the creation of free-standing private Montessori teacher training centers. Each of these centers were not associated with any college or university and taught the Montessori teaching methods to aspiring educators.
In the late 1960s, some parents started to call for the public schools in their local areas to offer the Montessori education model for their elementary school children who had graduated from private Montessori pre-schools. The public’s rush of support was given a boost by government funds being made available for new Montessori programs starting up in public school areas. Today, over one hundred U.S. school districts have some type of Montessori program.
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But just why has Montessori become so popular ? Many believe it is due to the program’s ability to overcome three major problems that the public school systems are still faced with. While the public school system has been put into a state of upheaval, the Montessori school systems have flourished.
Using their unique teaching methods, Montessori students have demonstrated a consistently high level of reading comprehension and academic performance. In the book “Montessori Parents Guide”, we dive deeper into how a Montessori program is powerfully unique and sets itself aside from current teaching methods.