The Advantages Of A Montessori School
by Sofia Coraines
There are some people that would prefer to send their children to a Montessori school over a regular school that will provide them with a typical public education. There are some that believe that the Montessori method is advantageous over what is traditionally taught in the public school system. There are actually many advantages in doing so, but there are also a few disadvantages by comparison. Each child is different in the way that they learn and develop. What may be disadvantageous for one child will be exactly what another child will need and this can certainly be brought out using the Montessori method. Here is a quick overview of this unique system for teaching, one that definitely stands apart from a traditional education.
What Is A Montessori Education
This is a specific type of educational approach that was developed by a woman by the name of Maria Montessori. She develop this as a result of working with children that were mentally challenged. It was originally tested in a slum neighborhood in Rome, and her approach was to emphasize independence. She believed in a concept called freedom within limits and that each child would develop socially, physically and psychologically at their own natural rate.
What Are Some Of The Differences In A Montessori Classroom?
Some of the main differences will include the fact that classrooms are not divided up by age. She actually put older and younger children in together. Initially, she had kids that were between the ages of three and six and the type of activities that they would do were focused within what are called uninterrupted blocks of work time. These blocks were roughly 3 hours each and would involve what is called a discovery model. This originated from a constructivist view, believing that concepts could actually be learned in a more efficient manner when working with materials opposed to the direct instruction that is provided in the public school system.
How Did This School Become So Popular?
It became popular as she began to see improvements with children that were thought to be unable to learn as others did. She developed specialized educational materials, and working with collaborators, she designed the system which also included freedom of movement instead of forcing the children to sit in their desks. In order to implement this type of system, she began to teach this on a wider basis. More Montessori teachers became available. After a certain point, it became a very popular way of introducing this type of instruction to young children who would actually be in classrooms together for several years.
What Are The Advantages Of The Montessori School System?
The advantages of this system include a focus on what are called planes of development. These are distinct periods of time which are four in total. She categorized these as children that are up to six years of age, kids that were from 6 to 12, and older children would be divided up into age groups of 12 to 18, going all the way up to 24. The reason for this division was to identify very specific characteristics that are indicative of kids that are learning at this age. For example, the main advantage of teaching the system to younger children is that the Montessori method recognizes that a child's behavior is actually integral to their ability to learn in an environment that is not constricted. She referred to this as having an absorbent mind, capable of soaking in language, sensory input, and culture. There were also many sensitive periods, each indicative of the age group that the child was in, allowing them to fully develop not only knowledge but acquisition of language, social behavior, and many other characteristics. Therefore, the primary advantage is that you are allowing the children to learn at their own rate within an environment that is conducive to allowing them to learn naturally this is what has led many people to bring their children at an early age to a Montessori school so as to improve their ability to become more highly educated.
Disadvantages Of The Montessori School
There are some disadvantages that need to be addressed in regard to this form of teaching. First of all, it tends to work better with younger children. As kids get older, and their ability to assimilate information becomes more structured, they will likely do better within a more organized educational setting. Second, the testing that kids do in the public school system is much more focused. They are following a very exact curriculum, one that includes all of the basic information that a functioning adult should be aware of. If they are learning at their own pace in a Montessori school setting, those that are more motivated to learn are going to excel whereas those that are not will likely need a more structured environment. Finally, the Montessori method is not reflective of how people learn as adults outside of school, and therefore having a less structured environment may not be conducive toward working within a business or corporate environment. That being said, there are some that will benefit highly from this type of teaching that does not rely almost solely upon a structured learning curriculum. Each parent needs to evaluate their children as they are going along to make sure that they are receiving an education that will be the most beneficial for them.
If you are thinking about placing your child into a Montessori school, you now understand why this could be advantageous. As with the public school system, there are going to be children that excel in this environment, and those that do not. Those that learn much more easily in an organized atmosphere through testing and lectures will probably not do as well. However, if you have a child that has problems sitting in place for extended periods of time, and can learn much more easily within an interactive group setting, then a Montessori school might be the best choice.