The Montessori Method

The Montessori Method, rooted in Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy of education -- that the formative first 6 years of life are critical, and that a child's powers of absorption are highest and attitudes and patterns of learning are formed during this period. She came to realize that children have a natural love of learning and that education, as an aid to life, must be provided in a secure and harmonious environment.

At Barrie Montessori, we see ourselves as stewards of Dr. Montessori’s educational legacy; not only in the daily life of our classrooms, but in advancing and advocating the Montessori Method in the world at-large.

In keeping with the Montessori Method, we encourage independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order and calm. Montessori hallmarks such as multi-age class groupings (which foster collaborative learning), uninterrupted blocks of work time, and guided choice of work activity are integral to our Lower School curriculum. In addition, our learning environments have been thoughtfully prepared with specially designed Montessori materials.

Between the dedicated, collaborative efforts of our educators, students, and parents, we seek to instill independence, confidence, competence, autonomy, intrinsic motivation, and social responsibility in every Barrie student.

We strive to educate parents about the Montessori Method as well, hosting regular Montessori Mornings in individual classrooms, Parent Education Program events, and "Moving Up" tours for parents with children in transitional years. Barrie is fully accredited by the American Montessori Society (in addition to our accreditation with the Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools).

Some of our classroom teachers also train future Montessori educators through Barrie's Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies. For more than 30 years, the Institute has been a source of innovative curriculum development and a sought-after center for Montessori teacher education. As a true community of learners, which brings together students, parents, teachers, and aspiring educators, Barrie offers an unparalleled Montessori experience.

Barrie Montessori students, toddler through 5th grade have an extraordinary access to independent and group learning. Our beautifully prepared environments and gifted instructors are continually guiding our students towards developing their own sense of individuality, character, and learning styles. Our students are encouraged to take their independence seriously by having the freedom within limits to be self-motivated, self-assured, and self-confident. In order for our students to truly understand themselves, they must trust themselves. They learn how to set personal boundaries and to interact with the world and people around them. Barrie Montessori students display confidence and competence in every step they take to achieve a goal. Although it may take much practice to master certain skills, our students are given every opportunity to properly problem solve and increase their own accuracy with diligence, patience, and support of their efforts. Our students are confident in their abilities as they venture out to learn new skills or re-learn old skills that still peaks their interests. Our students increase their competence and confidence by asking questions, problem solving, freely exploring, and satisfying their inner drive by becoming successful during every day work. Barrie students are learning within their classroom environments about the true value of autonomy. Montessori classrooms at Barrie have many experiences that encourage the growth and understanding of autonomy every day. These experiences are supported by our students' decision making initiatives, their ability to self-govern and self-regulate themselves, help to govern their peers and also allows the students to make decisions concerning their environment.

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