What is Montessori?

  • Parkway Montessori and Community Middle School, part of Saint Paul Public Schools, is a 6-8 grade Montessori school.

    There are a number of ways of explaining the Dr. Maria Montessori philosophy of child development. One simple but helpful explanation gives that this method allows and facilitates a child's learning by making use of their own natural curiosity about the world and by providing an environment that will encourage and guide their natural drive to learn.

    One way this philosophy manifests itself at Parkway is guided largely by independent learning, where students are given a parameter for a lesson and are responsible for learning the lesson on their own as much as possible. Another way is having multi-age learning environments.

    When older and younger students mix, opportunities to provide leadership are created for older students and opportunities for guidance and direction from their peers are provided by younger students.

    More Montessori resources:


Montessori Benefits

  • Montessori students learn to think critically, work collaboratively, and act boldly—a skill set for the 21st century. Key features of a montessori education include:

    Students enjoy freedom within limits. Working within parameters set by their teachers, students are active participants in deciding what their focus of learning will be. Montessorians understand that internal satisfaction drives the child’s curiosity and interest and results in joyous learning that is sustainable over a lifetime.

    Students are supported in becoming active seekers of knowledge. Teachers provide environments where students have the freedom and the tools to pursue answers to their own questions.

    Self-correction and self-assessment are an integral part of the Montessori classroom approach. As they mature, students learn to look critically at their work, and become adept at recognizing, correcting, and learning from their errors.