Is Montessori For Everyone?

I am often asked if Montessori education is right for all children. My usual response is that it is a good match for most students but it is not always for all parents. If you are a parent trying to decide whether Montessori is the right approach for your child, then you need to ask yourself some questions. Are you ready to let go of some of the beliefs of what education is supposed to look like? Some parents might feel uncomfortable with students being mixed with younger or older students or with busy classrooms that are not silent.

Prospective parents will often voice a concern that there are no grades given to students in the early years of Montessori. One parent actually said, “It is hard to find the teacher! There isn’t a desk that designates her place of importance.” Are you ready to trust a system that uses very different methods to educate children?

Montessori schools have been successfully educating children all over the world for approximately 110 years. This method is based on the work done by Dr. Maria Montessori, the 8th female physician in Italy at the turn of the 20th century. It was created through Dr. Montessori’s scientific observations of how children learn and under what circumstances they learn best. Her theories on brain development in the young child are being confirmed today through technology. As a result, hundreds of thousands of children have benefited from the remarkable environments designed by Dr. Montessori. So, how are these lessons different?

The first thing that sets a Montessori classroom apart is its atmosphere. Children are happy and productive. Students are usually grouped in three-year age spans to allow for a family-like atmosphere of older children teaching and nurturing younger children. This setting also establishes a strong sense of community where children role model respect for others, the school environment, and all of nature.

Second, children work at their own pace according to their abilities, interests, and timetable. This allows for most students to feel very successful, which enhances their self-esteem. Of course, when a person has good self-esteem, they are confident enough to take on new challenges. This focus on improving a child’s self-esteem is one of the reasons Montessori schools do not introduce grades in the early years.

Finally, the role of the teacher takes on a different meaning in the Montessori classroom. They are often found on the floor working side by side with their students. Montessori teachers act as guides, mentors, and role models and they are specially trained in order to do this effectively. Montessori teacher training is very in-depth and intense.

Montessori classrooms definitely provide a different type of learning environment, therefore resulting in a different kind of student. Montessori students are self-confident, self-motivated, respectful, responsible, and love learning. They are creative, inquisitive thinkers and problem solvers, excellent communicators, and outstanding leaders. If these are the qualities that you would like your child to acquire, then I would say to you with a resounding, “Yes! Montessori is for you.”

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment