Role of the Directress

In the classroom

The role of the directress in the classroom is one of observation and guidance. The teacher/directress keeps individual learning plans for each child and is thus able to keep track of what the child has worked on and what the next “challenge” should be.  The teacher does not interfere with the child’s work as long as he/she is working productively but will step in with appropriate assistance if difficulties arise.

The teacher observes and encourages the child through each activity. The child always works at his/her own pace. Through careful observation each child’s individual needs are assessed and new activities are introduced only when developmentally ready, ensuring that new knowledge is built upon what the child already knows. In this way the child explores the activities in the classroom and this results in an innate love of learning.

Approach was characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child's natural psychological, physical, and social development

Montessori education is fundamentally a model of human development, and an educational approach based on that model. The model has two basic principles. First, children and developing adults engage in psychological self-construction by means of interaction with their environments. Second, children, especially under the age of six, have an innate path of psychological development.

asia cute young girl holds a lot of colored pencils
A child plays with colored blocks constructs a model on a light
Chairs, table and toys. Interior of kindergarten.

choose and act freely within an environment

Montessori believed that children who are at liberty to choose and act freely within an environment prepared according to her model would act spontaneously for optimal development.

  • Activity
  • Communication
  • Exactness
  • Exploration
  • Manipulation (of the environment)
  • Order
  • Orientation
  • Repetition
  • Self-Perfection
  • Work (also described as "purposeful activity")

In the Montessori approach, these human tendencies are seen as driving behavior in every stage of development, and education should respond to and facilitate their expression

Education method called for free activity within a "prepared environment", meaning an educational environment tailored to basic human characteristics, to the specific characteristics of children at different ages, and to the individual personalities of each child.

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