Montessori environments use unique terms to describe daily actions, and these terms can be confusing if you aren’t familiar! At Maria Montessori School, we want to make sure that parents are educated on the system and verbiage used to ensure that their children get a proper Montessori education inside and outside the classroom. To help out, we’ve explained five frequently used Montessori terms.

Analysis of Movement
This is a technique frequently used by Montessori guides. The adult starts by showing a complex action to a child, breaking it down into slow, exact movements. The action becomes a series of simple movements that the child can then easily replicate, thus giving the child a greater chance of success upon liberal use.

Control of Error
This is a way to provide instant feedback. Each activity in a Montessori environment provides children with some way of assessing their own progress. Control is then placed in the hands of the learner and protects the child’s self-esteem and self-motivation. This is an essential aspect of auto-education.

Indirect Presentation
Because of the absorbent nature of young children, a lesson can be found in every action and event. Children learn by watching each other’s actions or lessons given to others. Similarly, they are quick to absorb the behavior patterns and language used by families, neighborhood children and even television.

When children repeatedly experience periods of spontaneous concentration on a piece of work they freely chose, they begin to display the following characteristics of normal development: a love of work, an attachment to reality and a love of silent, independent work. Normalized children are happier, enthusiastic, generous and helpful to others. This leads to constructive work choices, and their work reflects their development.

Simple to Complex
This principle is used in the sequence of presentations of a Montessori environment. First, children are introduced to a concept or idea in its simplest form. As they progress and begin making more complex connections, they are eventually able to handle information that is less isolated.

These terms are used daily in Montessori education, therefore, it’s important for parents to actively use these terms and techniques at home. For more Montessori terms, visit the Association Montessori Internationale website here.