Montessori Teaching Philosophy
The Montessori philosophy places an emphasis on individual student choice in learning and a balance between whole class lessons and individual lessons
- emphasis on individual student choice in learning
- balance between whole class lessons and individual lessons
- students work independently with self-checking materials at times
- emphasis on individual exploration of curriculum
The Three Montessori Methods
The use of individualized materials in the Montessori classroom allows for a varied pace that accommodates many levels of ability. A younger child may work for many weeks on the same piece of equipment without slowing down other members of the class. Likewise, older or more advanced children can move from one piece of equipment to another very quickly. Children are continually challenged by the wide variety of materials. The habits and skills emphasized in a Montessori class are lifelong: to work efficiently, observe carefully, and concentrate effectively. Self-motivated learning is encouraged.
Children are taught to respect each other, their classroom, and the school environment generally and are encouraged to participate in classroom and school-wide activities. In multi-age classrooms older children are given many opportunities to be of assistance, often teaching the younger ones. All children are encouraged to evaluate their own personal work and progress.
The Montessori classroom stresses the importance of "learning through experience", and the variety of materials used by the children satisfies this need to learn by doing. Children learn by choice as they select materials and/or activities that interest them. The teacher observes the children at work and encourages them to choose more challenging materials, as their skills develop. Many Montessori materials are made to be self-correcting so that the children may discover their own mistakes and learn from them.
Montessori Integration into Curriculum
The first Montessori class in Coquitlam was established at Austin Elementary School in 1979. The Montessori classrooms in School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) differ not so much in "what is taught" but in "how it is taught" and the materials used. At all grade levels, children follow the curriculum as prescribed by the BC Ministry of Education. The Montessori philosophy is somewhat modified to accommodate the British Columbia school curriculum. Montessori teachers participate in district in-service as well as Montessori workshops.
How to get involved
In 1983, a liaison committee was formed to provide a communication link between the district, the schools and the parents, and it has been an active component of the growth of the program. The committee consists of: Principals, teachers and parents representing each Montessori elementary school; President of the Coquitlam Montessori Society; Liaison trustee; and Assistant Superintendent of Schools.
The program in School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) is characterized by a high level of commitment and involvement by both parents and teachers. The Coquitlam Montessori Society is a charitable society formed by Coquitlam Montessori parents. The Society fund raises to purchase materials for Montessori classrooms and to support the program in School District 43 (Coquitlam). All parents are encouraged to participate in the Coquitlam Montessori Society.
For more information contact:
Brenda Aarstad - Administrative Assistant
For more information on the Coquitlam Montessori Society:
For more information: