La. House expands Montessori programs up to age 18

The Louisiana House overwhelmingly passed a bill Wednesday that would expand the Montessori educational approach to high schools.

The Montessori method is named Italian educator Maria Montessori. The American Montessori Society describes the method as emphasizing independence, freedom within limits and respect for a child’s natural development. The approach uses peer learning, uninterrupted blocks of work time and guided choice of work activity. The goal is to foster a child’s natural inclination to learn.

While Montessori programs generally cater to children between the ages of six and 14, House Bill 180, sponsored state Rep. Gordon Dove, R-Houma, would extend the parameters of Montessori programs to students through age 18.

The measure passed on a 94-0 vote.