High Fidelity Montessori Schools


28 November 2017

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High Fidelity Montessori Schools

High Fidelity Montessori Schools

Visitors to authentic Montessori schools are often joyfully taken aback by the sight of children working with deep concentration, spontaneity, freedom of movement and advanced skills. They invariably ask, “Are they always working so happily and quietly?” The sheer sight of this independent engagement of the children working within their community is what is defined as a hallmark of a Montessori education. The first years of life are of critical importance during your child’s education in his unique journey as progresses from one stage of his life to the next.

Montessori’s principles for devising a method of education for children from birth till they mature into young adults provides a holistic approach to catering to this need that provides an optimal environment which fosters self-discipline, academic achievement, responsibility, peace and kindness as well as a love of learning that acts truly as an aid to life through the child’s life. Through her lifetime, Dr. Maria Montessori continued her research with scientific observations of the children’s responses to their environments and devised guidelines that were indeed optimal for their natural development.

Montessori observed that children are not empty vessels that need to be filled with knowledge but unique and individual beings that follow their own natural path of development. The results are evident as they enter adult life with pride and enthusiasm and follow their own path with incredible success as is witnessed by own precious students as they graduate from our program.

The guidelines for authenticity and fidelity are inherent in the key components of   our carefully planned program and its progression from Infancy to Primary and Elementary classrooms. They are outlined as follows:

  • An environment that caters to the needs of the children at each stage of their development from birth till they are young adults. Montessori defined these planes of development from birth to 6 years (Infancy), 6 – 12 years (Childhood), 12- 18 years (Adolescence), 18 – 24 years (Maturity)
  • A teacher or guide who is trained and can aid the child in his path of natural development
  • Freedom as the children progress along their optimal path of development. Freedom within limits is the hallmark of a successful Montessori environment.
  • A Montessori program is composed of mixed age groups of students at each level covering a three- year span from early childhood level onwards
  • Each environment must be fully equipped with a full complement of Montessori materials appropriate for that age group
  • An uninterrupted work period in their daily schedules that caters to their developmental needs
  • An absence of supplemental materials that are not authentic Montessori materials
  • An environment that fosters joy in the child as well as calmness that serves an aid to life
  • A clean, warm and inviting environment at each stage of their development that foster a love of learning

The Montessori method has been tested over the past 100 years since its birth for its developmental outcomes for the child as it gained acclaim and credibility in its current form. Research on these outcomes indicates ‘fidelity’ as the key indicator of success. Studies indicate that children in classical Montessori programs show significantly greater school-year gains on outcome measures of executive function, reading, math, vocabulary and social problem-solving. This reveals that high fidelity Montessori programs are associated with better outcomes than low fidelity Montessori programs or conventional/traditional school programs.

The key to the Montessori method being successful is its support of  the particular needs of the child at each successive developmental stage of his journey. Children possess unique developmental characteristics as they mature into young adults. These were named ‘sensitive periods’ and ‘tendencies’ by Montessori. Montessori environments that support these in all of its details have demonstrated incredible success in terms of learning outcomes as opposed to those programs who have deviated from these and are more ‘conventional’ in nature. In addition, a trained guide is well aware of the individual needs of each child and can fruitfully guide them through their journey of self-mastery with the correct use of the Montessori materials.  An experienced guide is a keen observer of the children at all times and allows them the opportunity to practice what they have learned in order to perfect it. Finally, the children in an authentic Montessori program freely choose their work with enthusiasm. They interact with their environment in a well-balanced manner choosing work independently from different areas in the classroom and appear to be calm and joyful. This is what we hear invariably when we have visitors proclaim with utter delight on the deep concentration and joy they see as they walk through our hallways.


“My child is progressing well at Castle Montessori School and gets up every morning wanting to come to school and learn. Her skills and development are always progressing and we look forward to her continuing to exceed expectations.”

 – The Scaife Family



“Removing Supplementary Materials from Montessori Classrooms Changed Child Outcomes ”

—Angeline S. Lillard† and Megan J. Heise

“THE EARLY YEARS: Evaluating Montessori Education”
—Angeline Lillard, et al.

“Preschool children’s development in classic Montessori, supplemented Montessori, and conventional programs.”

— Angeline Lillard

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