Montessori schools exist on every inhabited continent, serving hundreds of thousands of children worldwide. Montessori education is practiced in public, charter, private, and religious schools, across a wide range of cultures and income levels. Montessori schools serve children from infancy through eighteen, although schools for three to six year olds are most common.
Because the name ‘Montessori’ is not a trademark, the Montessori education is practiced under a wide range of interpretations. (For more information, see Authentic Montessori on this site.) Montessori’s published work does suggest some essentials:
- mixed-age classrooms
- groupings of 3 to 6 year olds for preschool and kindergarden
- groupings of 6 to 9, 9 to 12, and 6 to twelve years old for older children
- student choice of activity
- materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators
- a particular educational approach based on the psychological characteristics of children at different stages of development