Why Choose Montessori? Here are FIVE REASONS

More than 100 years ago, Dr. Maria Montessori developed an educational approach that changed how children learn in the classroom. Dr. Montessori believed in teaching to the whole child – their physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual being – and encouraging them to be an active participant in their success.

Time and again Montessori-educated children have thrived in a world where they are accountable, able to learn at their pace and collaborate with others.

Below are five reasons to consider a Montessori education at Norwood-Fontbonne Academy in nearby Chestnut Hill.

Family Dynamic (use familydynamic.jpg)
The Montessori classroom is a mixed-age environment. Older children are able to cement their mastery of the material they have learned by teaching younger students. Older children are able to be role models for younger students. The younger students begin to solidify their goals as they observe older children work. The three age groups in the classroom are meant to echo the family dynamic at home.

Current research indicates that the key to successful education is to allow children a choice in the work they want to do. The Montessori environment allows this kind of flexibility in the classroom. Children are gently guided to appropriate lessons, but they are able to decide what they want to learn. Montessori teachers do not make children learn a particular subject.  They help children want to learn a subject. Consequently, the child’s interest and the teacher’s enthusiasm and support help children succeed and enjoy learning.

Advanced Social Skills
Montessori students develop advanced social skills at a young age. With the help of the teacher, they learn to work cooperatively with others and learn what it means to be part of a community. Studies have shown that developing sophisticated emotional intelligence is essential to happiness and success as an adult. Everyone in the Montessori classroom has something valuable to contribute.

Learning Independence & Self
In the Montessori environment,  children are encouraged to work at their own pace. Children understand that not all learning takes place at the same time. For instance, a student is able to progress quickly in math and is given lessons to encourage this progression while he is given enough time to perfect his mastery in reading. This approach allows children to feel successful and be successful in their learning. 

Global Citizen
Montessori students learn what it means to be part of a global community. They are helped to celebrate the differences of others throughout the world while they also understand that we all have the same basic needs. This helps children realize that we are all in this together.  This type of education contributes to more peaceful societies and enables Montessori students to interact successfully with others. This kind of education is enriched by beautiful Montessori materials such as maps of the countries and continents and flags of the world.

Norwood-Fontbonne Academy has been a leader in Montessori education for the past 52 years and is the lab school for Chestnut Hill College’s Montessori program. NFA’s Montessori program is Philadelphia’s only accredited school for children ages three through third grade and is one of six accredited Montessori schools in Pennsylvania. 

Montessori children begin their time at NFA as three, four, and five-year-olds in warm, welcoming house-like settings. Following preschool, their educational path continues into the Junior Level Montessori classrooms still located within the Fontbonne building. The Montessori students merge with NFA’s primary students in the fourth grade, however, elements of the Montessori philosophy remain in NFA’s curriculum through the eighth grade.


Founded in 1920 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Norwood-Fontbonne Academy is a Catholic, Independent, co-ed academy for preschool to eighth-grade students. Committed to a strong academic program, Norwood-Fontbonne Academy offers both a Montessori academic path and a Primary academic path enriched by service learning, outreach, and co-curricular experiences. Within a faith-filled community, students are challenged to become self-directed persons who live gospel values, enjoy learning, make reflective choices, and treasure themselves, others, and the Earth.