WHY CHOOSE A MONTESSORI EDUCATION?
A foundation in Montessori will equip your children with confidence to explore, create, make their own decisions and develop their sense of self and respect for others. Montessori children become independent earlier and have a deep understanding of concepts. Whereas traditional schools emphases defined results, Montessori schools trust the children’s inner abilities and places importance on the process of thinking and learning. Children are thus empowered to become dynamic lifetime learners.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A TRADITIONAL SCHOOL AND A MONTESSORI SCHOOL?
1. Mixed age groups – children from three different age groups mix and learn together and mentor each other
2. Classroom equipment – the Montessori classroom has specially designed tools that automatically corrects a child’s work so the child is never reprimanded and can work independently of an adult
3. Teacher/guide – Montessori trained teachers are there to observe and guide the children in their learning rather than lecture on what to do and what not to do. Gentle encouragement and caring is the cornerstone of a Montessori classroom
4. Environment – Children are free to do their work at their own pace without a rigid timetable so their learning is fun and child-centered, not teacher-centered. Children are also encouraged to walk around the classroom to return their equipment at their leisure, not chained to a desk and forced to sit still.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD MONTESSORI SCHOOL?
Maria Montessori stated, “The child who concentrates is immensely happy.” When you perform a school visit, observe whether the students are concentrating and happy. Look around the surroundings, do the children have enough room to move around and do their work? Also, the quality of the teaching is very important to any good school. Ask whether the teachers are AMI or MCI certified. Are the teachers in control of the class? Watch to see if the teachers are compassionate and loving. Notice whether the classroom equipment is in good condition. Talk to the school supervisor; ask whether the school provide various activities like music and communication activities.
HOW IS DISCIPLINE HANDLED IN A MONTESSORI SCHOOL?
Maria Montessori believed that children are innately intelligent and are naturally very social beings who can achieve self-discipline if they are provided with a safe physical environment in which to learn and a teacher who models good, kind behavior. If there is any disruptive behavior, the Montessori teacher will respond in a kind and caring manner and use it as an opportunity for learning.
HOW WILL MY CHILD ADJUST TO A TRADITIONAL SCHOOL SYSTEM AFTER LEAVING A MONTESSORI PRESCHOOL?
Montessori children usually leave preschool with a confidence in their social and learning abilities. They are aware of their environment and are resourceful and have learned self-reliance and problem-solving skills.
DOES A MONTESSORI EDUCATION LEAVE ROOM FOR CREATIVITY?
Children delight in the creative process, not necessarily the end result so Montessori schools give children the freedom to work on art projects and practical life ‘role playing’ activities whenever they like. Also, singing, dancing and group performing activities give ample opportunities for children to express their creative selves.
WHY ARE MONTESSORI SCHOOLS BECOMING SO POPULAR?
Maria Montessori’s ideas were ahead of their time. It’s only recently that society-at-large has embraced the idea that young children are intelligent beings who are self-motivated and self-disciplined. Montessori’s holistic approach to education and care of the environment is finally being recognized by scientific research studies. In a 1991 study by Alcillia Clifford and Carol Takacs, former Montessori graduates consistently scored better in Math and Reading in the California Achievement Test than fellow Cleveland Public School students for grades one through eight.1
1 Clifford, Alcillia Jones, and Carol Takacs (1991). Marotta Montessori Schools of Cleveland follow-up study of urban center pupils. (Unpublished paper, Cleveland State University).