Picking a school or method of education is one of the most important decisions you will make for your child. Educational experience from the get-go can either make or break a child’s life-long love of learning, intellectual abilities, social presence, self-esteem and motivation.
But sometimes, the most persuasive argument for successful school placement isn’t what you read or hear, but what you WON’T hear. Ever. And why…
- “Please wait until the rest of the class catches up before you move on with this lesson”. Montessori education is individualized, which means both content and pace of learning are based on the abilities and interests of each individual student, not those of the group at large.
- “Remain in your seat”. The Montessori Method not only respects a child’s innate drive for movement, but uses and harnesses that drive to aid academic learning. Montessori classrooms facilitate freedom of movement in order to deepen focus and engagement.
- “Do not ask another classmate for help”. A major tenet of Montessori programming is multi-age groupings, which foster and encourage peer learning. Younger children learn from older children. Older children reinforce their learning by teaching skills they have already mastered.
- “Before we learn about other cultures, we must first understand our own”. A need for global awareness drives the Montessori curriculum. In today’s rapidly changing world, technology bridges the gap between people and cultures at an increasingly dizzying rate. Our students, as “citizens of the world”, develop leadership skills based on mutual respect and understanding.
- “Repeat after me”. Inherent in the Montessori philosophy is a deep respect for the uniqueness of each and every child. Children are viewed as possessing powerful inborn qualities which naturally drive them towards exploration and discovery. Program goals support increasing independence of students. It is the teacher’s role to observe and guide, not directly instruct.
- “As long as you provide the correct answer, it doesn’t matter how you discovered it”. The process of learning is always more important than the product. Children are not taught rote answers to educational questions, but exploration and inquiry skills that guide discovery of results, even when the results are changeable over time.
- “Keep your hands in your lap”. That would be an impossible statement for a Montessori teacher to make. Each activity in the classroom is hands-on, chosen within the prepared environment by the child. This makes learning concrete, rather than abstract. It helps the child understand the all-important “why” and “how” of acquired skills.
- “That’s an interesting question, but none of this will be on the test, so let’s move on”. For over 100 years, Montessori schools have graduated children instilled with the joy of learning, a love of intelligence, self-motivation and a compassionate affinity with others. There is no topic or question not worth studying.
Now, THAT, is saying something…