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Our Programming

Gladwyne Montessori is a joyous, independent, co-educational, day school that seeks to galvanize students’ minds and hearts, curiosity, imagination, and love of learning through Montessori education in Gladwyne, PA.

Based on Maria Montessori’s educational philosophy, we are dedicated to focusing on children’s developmental stages as informed by current research in brain function, education, technology and psychology. Gladwyne Montessori serves children from 6 weeks to 12-years old living in Gladwyne, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Narberth, Philadelphia, Wayne, and beyond.

Our Montessori programs are grounded in an authentic, respect-based partnership. Students thrive in classrooms where teachers respect their uniqueness, individual needs, strengths, and interests. Their motivation is enhanced through the pursuit of individual interests, and their self-confidence is strengthened through the introduction of new materials based on individual readiness, learning style, and ability. In all of our Montessori programs, the teacher’s role is one of trained observer, mentor, guide, developmental expert, and catalyst of student-potential. The child’s role is one of elated explorer, independent thinker, compassionate collaborator, and thoughtful researcher.

Our “child-centered” Montessori programs are based on the following combination of principles and beliefs:

Children are born good —  innately caring, curious, creative, and intelligent.

In preparing their classrooms, designing their curriculum, and through individual and small group instruction, teachers attempt to cultivate this human potential. They stimulate and challenge students, encouraging them to develop their imagination, intellectual curiosity, and sense of wonder, as well as individual expressions of grace and courtesy.

Children should be allowed to have a joyous, productive, unhurried childhood.

Students are welcomed into carefully prepared classrooms where, without the clamor of school bells and constant interruptions, genuine exploration and sustained work is possible. Children are therefore able to work at their own pace, having the gift of time to perfect their skills and attain a sense of mastery.

Children are intrinsically motivated and will succeed when their learning involves movement, purposeful manipulation of materials, and opportunities for independence.

Our classrooms are laboratories laden with intriguing, developmentally appropriate, self-correcting materials that provide ample opportunities for spontaneous investigation, learning by doing, and the construction of individual knowledge. Students thus develop their own unique gifts and learning potential.

A sound education should enhance the building of life-skills.

Students are placed in warm, nurturing, multi-age communities where they experience courtesy and trust, build long-term relationships, and encounter countless life lessons. In a three-year period, children experience being the youngest, the middle-aged, and the oldest in the community. They learn, they practice, and they teach other students. In naturally occurring academic and social situations, they learn to ask for help, to accept help, to offer help, to resolve conflicts peacefully, and to encourage and acknowledge each other. In the process, they learn to be responsible and respectful student learners who are able to work effectively on their own or in cooperation with others. These skills are essential to success in life because they foster emotional intelligence and the ability to understand another's point of view.

The cultural curriculum is integral to educating future citizens of the world.

The curriculum, with its emphasis on geography, history, world cultures, community service, and peace education, conscientiously seeks to promote a global perspective and enhance mutual respect. The students and faculty represent a fairly broad spectrum of religious faith, race, socioeconomic background, and ethnic heritage. While academic and creative excellence is emphasized and accomplished, we also nurture a sense of compassion, social responsibility and justice, and global understanding as key elements for living consciously in our ever-changing world.

Stewardship is fundamental to Montessori education.

Students' investigations of how every living being contributes to sustaining the universe, leads them to contemplate their own contribution as human beings. The resulting realization is that human beings, the most highly evolved of the species, are essentially custodians of the earth and we must take care of ourselves, other lives, and the environment that sustains all of us.

Through a Montessori education taught with fidelity and based on these beliefs, Gladwyne Montessori students graduate with deep respect and gratitude for having experienced school in the way all children deserve. At all levels of development, Gladwyne Montessori students demonstrate independence, self-direction, insatiable curiosity, and perseverance because they are engaged in meaningful work.

We firmly believe that a Montessori education provides our students with the essential tools to lead a meaningful, thoughtful, confident adult life — a passion for and proficiency in learning, the ability to choose and engage in work with sustained concentration, the ability to identify and resolve social challenges, a sense of respect and responsibility for the natural environment, an appreciation of different cultures, and a commitment to actively contributing to make the world a better place.