Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Character Education Ideas for the Montessori Classroom

We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit. - Maria Montessori, Education for a New World
NAMC montessori classroom character education ideas children painting together
In a previous blog article on Educating the Human Potential, we wrote about the importance of Character Education in the Montessori classroom.

Montessori believed that children learn wisdom, virtue, courage, honesty, and character by hearing, reading, and telling stories that model these virtues. Our world is rich with literature about individual heroes who have made the earth a better place for others. Reading these stories and poems aloud to students builds a strong curriculum for Character Education in conjunction with other subjects such as History, the Sciences, Practical Life, Peace, etc., and opens the floor for further exploration and discussion, whereby Montessori students can identify and learn to define the character virtues demonstrated in a particular story or poem.

The Montessori classroom can also be the environment where students learn to practice character virtues, and recognize these virtues in their peers and community, every day.

Character Education Ideas for the Montessori Classroom

You may have heard the term “Scroll of Virtues” in the Montessori classroom. This can be a simple pen-and-paper wall display that lists character virtues as students discover them through stories and actions in daily life.

Here are some examples of character virtues that you may explore through shared literature:

Responsibility, Fortitude, Courage, Compassion, Caring, Honesty, Justice, Fairness, Hard Work, Perseverance, Politeness, Sharing, Courtesy, Kindness, Patience, Role Modeling, Awareness, Flexibility, Humility
NAMC montessori classroom character education ideas mother and daughter cooking
Encourage your Montessori students to do further work with the Scroll of Virtues, such as keeping a Character Virtue journal, whereby they can identify specific virtues and write about their own experiences or their own stories about each virtue. Art projects are a creative expression of character virtues and their significance. Field trips can be organized in such a way that encourages Montessori students to practice character virtues, such as community service initiatives. Special school events, such as a formal spring tea for parents and grandparents, engage the students in the virtues of grace and courtesy. Even everyday actions, such as an older student helping a younger student, or a practical life activity such as caring for the environment, can be acknowledged and celebrated in the Montessori classroom.

Character Education continues to be one of the most important aspects of the Montessori curriculum, across all ages. The Montessori teacher and parent are important role models and guides toward the “education of the whole child” through thoughtful practice and shared experience. NAMC teaching manuals provide a rich curriculum centered on the development of the whole child, for each age group.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, September 23, 2009.


  1. I am impressed by your post. i am also related to Character Education and greatly impressed by your Blog.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to read the blog! I agree, character education can be wonderful!


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