Frequently Asked QuestionsFind answers to frequently asked questions at Hershey Montessori School.
What is Montessori?
The Montessori approach was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first female physician in Italy. She devoted her life to the study of how children learn.
Dr. Montessori developed a comprehensive, child-centered approach to education based on the following principles:
- Education should prepare children for life – intellectually, emotionally and physically
- Children learn best in an environment that fosters independence, and encourages their innate need to explore and discover.
- Children should be allowed to progress at their own pace, regardless of ability level or age
Dr. Montessori’s teachings are widely used today in education. More than 20,000 schools worldwide incorporate the Montessori method in their curriculum.
There are many resources available to learn more about Montessori. We recommend beginning with the Association Montessori Internationale of the United States, a national, non-profit organization dedicated to Maria Montessori’s vision.
Is the Montessori approach still relevant to contemporary education?
Absolutely. More than 20,000 schools around the world, including 5,000 in the U.S., leverage the Montessori approach to educate students.
Is the Montessori approach effective?
- Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, written by Angeline S. Lillard, PhD
- Outcomes for Students in a Montessori Program, prepared by Dohrmann, K.
In addition to studies, the accomplishments of Montessori graduates speak to the effectiveness of the approach.
How are Montessori teachers trained? Do they have the same certifications as teachers at other schools?
At the Huntsburg Campus our guides have completed the NAMTA Orientation to Adolescence course in addition to their degrees and specialty training. Many also have AMI Montessori training at one or two other levels.
Why do classrooms have mixed age groups?
If children work independently and are free to choose much of the work, how do you ensure they learn all necessary skill sets?
Parents have conferences with guides at all levels and will receive reports that offer an individualized narrative addressing whole-child engagement, achievement and measurable assessment of progress.
The Stanford Achievement Tests is provided for all students beginning at 4th year and provides an additional view of the child’s relative standardized achievement.
How do guides provide structure in the classroom?
What if my child needs extra academic support? What about children with disabilities?
How do Montessori students adapt to other classroom environments, like a traditional high school or university?
Visit the Success For Life page to learn more about the accomplishments of Montessori students and graduates of Hershey Montessori.
Does Montessori use a grading scale similar to traditional schools? How are students measured?
Rather than applying an A, B, C, D or F to a student’s efforts, the Montessori guide (teacher) observes the child and carefully tracks student progress over time. This process is aided by guides staying with the same students for three to four years and coming to understand their strengths and abilities. Montessori students are also shown strategies to self-assess the quality of their work, a skill required for thriving outside of the classroom.
Ultimately, parents will understand the success of their child through detailed, individualized progress reports prepared by the guide.
What is the importance of nature in Montessori education?
Maria Montessori believed that understanding human interdependence and the ways in which people live and work together are critical for development, especially in adolescence. The environment Montessori described as best suited for this developmental task is an operating farm where students live, work, and study in a microcosm of society. This is described as land-based learning.
Hershey Montessori’s Huntsburg Campus, developed as a farm school, creates the ideal environment for students to understand skills such as: growing their own food, managing natural resources, overseeing a budget and caring for animals.
Learn more about land-based learning at Hershey Montessori.