Montessori education is renowned for its ability to foster a sense of independence and self-guided work in young children. But is it really better than conventional nursery schools? In this article, we'll explore the history of the Montessori Method, how well children learn in Montessori preschool centers, and what parents should look for and avoid when considering this educational approach. The Montessori Method is named after Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian doctor born in 1870 who was fascinated by children and their development.
She developed a theory of human development based on the idea that children instinctively know what they need to learn and that, when surrounded by the right practical materials, they can educate themselves independently. This self-directed learning style allows them to quickly gain a sense of independence and self-confidence.Montessori preschool classrooms tend to look very different from “traditional” preschool classrooms. On the one hand, children from 3 to 6 years old all work in the same room, so that the little ones can learn from their elders and older children can develop a sense of leadership and authority. On the other hand, they are not lessons or activities, they are “work”; and what, please tell me, was that thing about the pink tower that everyone was talking about?The pink tower is a work by Montessori based on the senses that consists of stacking pink cubes of different sizes.
When children go to Montessori preschool centers, they stay with the same teacher for all three years. This allows them to develop a strong bond with their teacher and learn at their own pace.Montessori schools must also have a three-hour block in the morning where students work continuously with Montessori materials. This is important for developing concentration and focus.It is important to note that schools can call themselves “Montessori” even if they are not. Some especially energetic children may need regular breaks, and good teachers can help students recognize when they need them and what kind of breaks help them the most.
If the school you're seeing adheres to these principles, but also allows children to use toys, Lego bricks, or other non-Montessori materials, then it can be a supplemented Montessori school.Ultimately, whether Montessori is classic or supplemented, or not Montessori, the best preschool for your child is one who feels good and good. Do students seem happy and relaxed? Is the classroom environment positive and conducive to learning, and do teachers seem warm and responsive? Parenting often requires trusting your gut and finding the right preschool for your child should also take advantage of those instincts.While Montessori education is effective in many ways for many children, the method has had its share of criticism. Formal tests do not exist in the early stages, and many are concerned that the lack of structure will put the child at a disadvantage. Another concern is the cost of Montessori education; most Montessori schools are private and often when parents enroll their children during their early years they cannot keep up with the program.Many low-income parents have never heard of the Montessori model, and the method is the opposite of the highly structured educational model (strict rules and lots of test preparation) that low-income parents have been told is the path to their child's success.After that, you can decide if you want to teach in an authentic Montessori school or if you just want to incorporate some Montessori principles into your teaching.
In one of the studies discussed above, social and cognitive benefits emerged for children who had previously attended Montessori preschool centers and then moved to mainstream schools, but these benefits did not arise until adolescence. Known for learning at an individual pace and encouraging independence, the Montessori Method also encourages empathy, a passion for social justice and the joy of lifelong learning. Even if randomization is achievable, studies should be conducted on a scale large enough to allow not only generalizations to be made beyond the private schools studied, but also to allow research into which children best fit this educational approach.