Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are all Montessori schools alike?
A. No. Montessori is a philosophy and method of education, not a franchise. Each school operates independently. Each school is unique in the way it interprets this philosophy for the community it serves, and in its leadership, vision, staff credentials, and stability.

Q. What is “The Absorbent Mind”?
A. This term as used by Dr Maria Montessori to describe the transformation process which occurs in the young child, who absorbs impressions from his/her environment. the child creates his/her mind, memory and personality from all these impressions, hence Dr Montessori called this type of mentality “The Absorbent Mind”.

Q. What is a “Sensitive Period”?
A. The term “Sensitive Period” is Montessori’s name for stages in a child’s development when the child shows unusual capabilities for acquiring particular skills. Another term for this phenomenon might be “periods of special readiness to learn certain things”.

Q. Why is family involvement such a large part of Montessori?
A. Teaching children effectively requires a close collaboration between parents and teachers. Research confirms a direct link between student success and parental involvement with the school. We need to understand one another, share knowledge and insights, and agree on goals.

Parents also participate in parent-teacher conferences, as well as introductory or transitional program meetings. Classroom observations and discussions with teachers further inform parents about the child’s experience at school. And, there are innumerable opportunities to assist in student activities like outings, events, and performances. There are also enjoyable social functions scheduled throughout the year.

Q. What makes a good Montessori teacher?
A. A good Montessori teacher should:

  • Have a thorough knowledge of Montessori philosophy and practice.
  • Be able to prepare and maintain a challenging environment for children.
  • Have the ability to observe and assess the need of individual children.
  • Be a facilitator.
  • Maintain a safe environment.
  • Be approachable and communicate with parents and carers.
  • Be consistent.
  • Have the ability to work as part of a team.
  • Behave in a professional manner.
  • Continue her/his professional development.

Q. Does the school provide religious training?
A. No. However, there is a spiritual component to the Montessori philosophy, which recognizes and respects the whole child, including an inner self, where issues of character and civic virtues reside and require nurturing.

Q. What does Montessori mean for Children?
A. Montessori education has an international reputation and influence. It is a holistic approach: it develops and educates the child physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally. It is child centered: each child progresses at their own pace, not pressured to achieve and encouraged to follow their own path of development. It offers a unique combination of a highly structured curriculum, even at pre-school level, and the freedom for the child to choose their own activities. Because they have this freedom of choice Montessori children become enthusiastic learners.

Q. What does Montessori mean for Parents?A.

  • REASSURANCE that the basics are being taught in a concrete, fun way, at the age when the child is most receptive to learning various concepts. The unique learning materials designed by Maria Montessori ensure this.
  • KNOWLEDGE that your child is respected and being treated as a valued individual, trained by Montessori teachers, receptive to his/her individual needs.
  • RELIEF that priority is given to developing social skills in children, to training them to be thoughtful and courteous, and to making them knowledgeable and appreciative of the richness of cultural diversity that characterizes our multi-ethnic society.

Q. Is Greenville Montessori School licensed?A. Yes, we are a N.C. Licensed Private School.

Montessori Traditional
Emphasis on congnitive/social development Emphasis on social development
Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom Teacher is center of classroom as “controller”
Environment and method encourage self-discipline Teacher acts as primary enforcer of discipline
Mainly individual instruction Mainly group instruction
Mixed age grouping Same age grouping
Grouping encourages children to teach each other Most teaching done by teacher
Child chooses own work Curriculum structured for child
School meets needs of students Students fit mold of school
Child discovers own concepts from self-teaching materials Child is guided to concepts by teacher
Child works long as wishes Generally allotted specific time for work
Child sets own learning pace Pace set by group norm
Child spots own errors from feedback from material If work corrected, errors usually pointed out by teacher
Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success Learning is reinforced externally by rewards and punishment
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration with graded difficulty Some material for sensory development
Organized program for learning care of self and environment (polishing shoes, etc.) No organized programs for self-care instruction
Children can work where they choose, move around and talk at will (yet not disturb others) Children usually assigned own chairs; required to participate