The Montessori approach to education is unique. Scarborough Montessori schools employ the basic principles of this approach, introduced by Maria Montessori. How these principles are applied in the classroom, though, can differ between schools and grade levels.
- Decentralized learning: In Montessori schools in Scarborough, Children normally work individually or in groups. Teachers provide support and guidance, but only when necessary. And, they rarely give lectures to the whole class.
- Individualized curriculum: There is no standardized, one-size-fits-all curriculum. Rather, teaching and learning is tailored to each child. With help from the teacher, kids choose work that’s developmentally appropriate for them.
- Uninterrupted work time: Most Scarborough Montessori schools have uninterrupted work periods. Especially at the primary levels and higher, many schools have at least one 2-3 hour block of time when students can focus on their own work, free of distractions. This can heighten engagement and improve focus and concentration.
- Concrete learning: Montessori prioritizes hands-on learning. Especially at the lower levels, such as preschool, concrete learning is emphasized over abstract or theoretical learning. This can be engaging and stimulating, and lead to faster and more efficient learning.
- Multi-age classrooms: Most schools don’t group children by one age- or grade-level. Instead, there have multi-age groupings, often of three years: e.g., 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, etc. This allows older kids to teach and mentor their younger peers, as well as model appropriate behaviour to them.
- Character education: Similar to Waldorf and Reggio Emilia, the focus isn’t just on core academics. Schools also teach important character traits, such as independence, responsibility, and patience. For instance, children are taught to keep track of their materials, clean up after themselves, and to cooperate and collaborate with others.
Montessori teaching method
Montessori schools have an unusual and progressive approach to teaching. Teachers rarely stand at the front of the classroom or deliver lectures to the whole class. Instead, they mostly roam around the classroom, observe students, and provide guidance when necessary.
The role of the teacher is to be more of a guide or mentor than an instructor. Sometimes teachers provide short lessons to individual or small groups of students. They also help them connect them with meaningful work.
Teachers try, though, to minimize intervention. It’s thought to be counter-productive to interrupt students who are in the middle of an engaging task. It’s also believed that students learn more effectively from each other than from teachers. And in fact, there is research to support this.
Choosing the right Scarborough Montessori school
There are plenty of Montessori schools in Scarborough, Ontario. In choosing the right one, you should consider a number of key questions.
- How much does the school cost?
- Where is it located?
- What are the school’s values and do they match your own?
- Does it have a supportive learning environment (for instance, does it offer any kind of special needs support)?
- How does the school assess student progress?
- Is the school accredited (for instance, by the CCMA or AMI)?
- Does the school have uninterrupted work periods, and if so, for how long and how often?
- What is the school’s approach to teaching subjects, such as math, science, reading, and writing?
For more information, read our guide to choosing the right school. You can also read our guides to questions to ask Montessori schools and questions to ask any private school.
Below, we list Montessori schools in Scarborough, Ontario. Click on a school profile to learn more about a school, including its cost, location, curricular approaches, and how to register your child.