The most frequently asked questions about Montessori education.

Most Common FAQs


What is a Montessori School?

Montessori is a proven educational method based on scientific observation of the development of children pioneered by Dr. Maria Montessori over 100 years ago in Italy. Education within the Montessori environment provides children the opportunity to express themselves as individuals. The children explore and learn through discovery at their own pace under the guidance of specially trained teachers. It is an individualized approach to education for children from infancy through high school (North Star offers programs from infancy through grade 7) that assists each child reaching their full potential. It is a student-centered approach that fosters creativity, curiosity and encourages children to ask questions, explore and think critically as they acquire both academic and life skills.

The children work independently and in groups, exploring the materials, with lessons, facilitation and guidance from the teachers. The Montessori environment nurtures independence and fosters the skills and confidence that children need to succeed in all aspects of their lives.


How does Montessori compare to traditional types of education?

Montessori education emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching and reading. While traditional education is based on the transfer of knowledge from teacher to student and follows a set curriculum according to a timeframe that is the same for everyone, Montessori education is based on supporting the natural development of the human being and students learn at their own pace, following their own individual interests. Rather than being teacher directed, the Montessori teacher works in collaboration with the students and this working and learning is matched to the social development of the students. Montessori education emphasizes intrinsic motivation through physical exploration, self-direction and a process of discovery rather than motivation by a system of rewards and punishments.


How is North Star different from other Montessori schools or other private schools in North Vancouver?

North Star is the only authentic Montessori school on the North Shore currently offering an elementary program as outlined by Maria Montessori (we currently offer programs from infancy through grade 7). We offer a warm, friendly atmosphere, which feels like an extended family, partly due to our small by design size, and partly due to the parent participation and teacher leadership, which sets the tone of the school. The authentic Montessori educational approach, as well as the extensive outdoor education and fieldtrips set North Star apart from other private schools.


For more frequently asked questions, on the learning environment, fees, teachers and more,  download the North Star Montessori Parents Guide.