In education, STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. STEM is a fairly new idea in traditional education, but that isn’t the case for Montessori schools. Let’s look at what STEM subjects have in common:
• Critical Thinking
• Problem solving
• Data analysis
• Collaborative learning
• Constructive learning
These concepts are the very backbone of the Montessori method. Like STEM, Montessori is more than just materials and presentations. It is a process and method of teaching and learning that gives students the tools with which to learn, while placing the responsibility and ownership of learning on the student.
STEM, like Montessori, is about doing. It’s about building and creating something that demonstrates the internalization of scientific thought and content. It’s about solving real-world problems in a project-based, experiential learning environment.
STEM learning begins in the Montessori Early Childhood program with the practical life activities. Working on these activities, children begin to see that work follows a sequence; it has a beginning, middle, and end. It is also intentional and directional; we move top to bottom and left to right. Practical life activities allow children to make judgments, such as knowing how much water to pour into a vessel before it overflows. They also encourage children to problem solve. If the water does spill, they know how to clean it up independently. In the practical life area, children learn a great deal about cause and effect.
In the sensorial area, young children use their senses to learn about and differentiate abstract mathematical and scientific principles. They learn about patterns, height, length, width, volume, weight, temperature, sound, tone, texture, smell, and taste. They also learn to classify, order, and name their discoveries.
In the math area, children begin laying the foundation for a strong understanding of patterns, sequence, numbers, numeration, and computation. They are able to perform all four operations using a variety of Montessori materials, including the Golden Bead Material and the Stamp Game. Children explore mathematics in small incremental steps, which leads them from concrete to abstract thought. Much of the preparation for advanced algebra begins in the Montessori 3-6 environment.
In the culture and science curriculum, students explore the world around them. They explore and understand the differences between land and water forms, both simple and complex. They learn the basic anatomy of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. They explore the parts of plants, stems, roots, flowers, seeds, and fruit, and they learn to appreciate the life cycle of all living things.
Really, when you stop and think about it, Montessori begins teaching STEM principles when children are just three years old! Each year and each level of Montessori adds new levels of complexity and thought, but the underlying ideas are the same. Children are constructing their own knowledge through hands-on, exploratory, real-life learning.
Since it has been seen to be necessary to give so much to the child, let us give him a vision of the whole universe. The universe is an i...
Dr. Montessori determined that young children experience a sensitive period for music development between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. T...
Meant to inspire and ignite the child’s imagination, the Five Great Lessons are a catalyst for the Montessori elementary curriculum . Told...
The Five Great Lessons are thought to be the catalyst of the Montessori elementary cultural curriculum. From the origins of the universe t...
“Oh, I know you!” Those were the very first words I said to my newborn son, just moments after giving birth to him almost 22 years ago. I ...
Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children. —Walter Elias Disney Going on a family vacation is an exciting prospect, espec...
NAMC is happy to welcome a guest writer for this edition of our blog. Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for ...
In our previous blog, we discussed the importance of having consistent, predictable rules and limits in order for children to feel safe an...
Search the NAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog
Are you interested in reading back through NAMC's blog articles from years gone by, or for more information on a specific topic?
Browse a select list of our most popular categories below; by clicking on one, you will see every article posted under that topic since 2007. You may also use the lower archive menu to select a year and month, displaying all blog posts in the chosen time frame.
If you are seeking a range of information on a certain topic or idea, try this search box for site-wide keyword results.
Choose From a List of Popular Article Topics
NAMC Montessori Series
- NAMC Book Study — Montessori Today by Paula Polk Lillard (8)
- NAMC Book Study — The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori (29)
- Montessori Insights and Reflections of a Preschool Child’s First Year (72)
Montessori Philosophy and Methodology
- Control of Error (4)
- Cosmic Education (64)
- Independence (28)
- Learn From Students (22)
- Mindfulness (6)
- Mixed Age Groups (10)
- Modeling Behavior (21)
- Montessori Classroom (40)
- Montessori Philosophy (169)
- Normalization (17)
- Peace (56)
- Planes of Development (30)
- Prepared Environment (54)
- Sensitive Periods (13)
- Three Period Lesson (5)
Montessori Classroom Management
The School Year
- Best Advice to New Teachers Series (79)
- Circle Time (13)
- Classroom Advice (79)
- Descriptive Praise (7)
- Health (9)
- Montessori Routines (55)
- New Montessori Students (17)
- New School Year (20)
- Organization (22)
- Parent Teacher Relations (34)
- School Year Preparation (22)
- Teacher Worries (36)
- Year End (14)
- 5 Great Lessons (15)
- Cooking and Recipes (20)
- Geography (13)
- Grace and Courtesy (31)
- Montessori Activity Ideas (154)
- Montessori Culture and Science (31)
- Montessori Culture Studies (44)
- Montessori Language Arts (26)
- Montessori Math Studies (21)
- Montessori Practical Life (47)
- Montessori Presentations (25)
- Montessori Reading Material (51)
- Sensorial Development (16)
- Social Development (32)
- The Silence Game (6)
Montessori Infant/Toddler (0–3) Program
- Infant/Toddler (0-3) (49)
Montessori Early Childhood (3–6) Program
Montessori Elementary (6–12) Programs
- 5 Great Lessons (15)
- Cosmic Education (64)
- Going Out (21)
- Homework (8)
- Lower Elementary (6-9) (50)
- Montessori and Public Schooling (17)
- Reading and Literacy Development (22)
- Upper Elementary (9-12) (49)
What is Montessori?
Search Archives for Montessori Blog Posts by Date
- ► 2017 (21)
- ► 2016 (42)
- ► 2015 (41)
- ► 2014 (58)
- ► 2013 (101)
- ► 2012 (77)
- ► 2011 (76)
- ► 2010 (126)
- ► 2009 (99)
- ► 2008 (75)