The unique characteristics of the Montessori educational program provides an inclusive and academically rigorous environment where individual differences are accepted, peers give each other recognition and assistance, peer tutoring and collaboration are encouraged, and whole-child development is fostered. Montessori classrooms feature developmentally appropriate mixed-age groupings backed by years of research in a multitude of fields to create a rich, dynamic, and collaborative environment to grow these skills.
The Montessori curriculum is designed to meet physical, intellectual, social, and emotional needs of children at progressive stages of maturity and is aligned with all state curriculum standards. The instructional methods inherent in the Montessori approach are particularly appropriate for student populations with a wide range of learning styles and needs, ranging from students with learning disabilities to highly capable students.
Montessori classrooms preclude comparisons, accommodate uneven development, and easily accommodate support and interventions. The flexible yet highly-structured learning environment encourages students to feel successful in school. Children have diverse opportunities to develop their potential as they grow into the world as engaged, competent, responsible, and respectful citizens with an understanding and appreciation that learning is for life. While traditional instructional models increasingly incorporate aspects of Montessori, data supports the most powerful approach is its full implementation!
HOW DOES IT COMPARE?
Traditional schools rely on textbooks, pencil and paper and worksheets to teach children. Many of these materials are not provided for the student and are left to parents to provide.
The standardized nature of the program creates a natural disconnect between intellectual and social development. As each subject is taught in a specific block of time, students are discouraged from socializing, as this would cause distractions within the classroom.
A one size fits all program that focuses on narrow, unit driven curricula required by the Department of Education.
The educational program for traditional school focuses on individual subjects, each taught within a specific time-frame every day.
Everything a child learns in a traditional school is based on the class schedule. A student's learning is thus limited to the specific block of time the teacher allows before moving on to the next subject. As such, there are many different interruptions within a school day.
Classroom ages vary only by about a year, and there is little to no interaction between grades.
During instruction students are required to remain at their desks, in absolute silence as the teacher lectures about a subject.
Students fit the mold of the school: "Cookie cutter students"
Children must rely on a teacher to grade their work and there may be no opportunity to correct the work for a better grade. As such, many students have to leave the campus and pay for special help in mastering the subjects.
Grades follow a standardized, norm-referenced assessment procedure. Due to the standardization of the program, a child who excels at a subject must wait for the other students to complete the subject before beginning the next subject.
WHAT HAPPENS *AFTER* MONTESSORI?
"What happens after Montessori?" is a common question we are often asked by parents who are concerned about their child's transition from a Montessori classroom environment, to a Traditional classroom environment.
Jesse McCarthy, with MontessoriEducation.com, interviewed a Montessori alum, Meredith Narrowe, about her transition from a Montessori school to a public elementary school.
This podcast is an excellent glimpse into how Montessori education affects the lives of its students.
The Montessori environment offers children opportunities to develop their potential as they grow into the world as engaged, competent, responsible, and respectful citizens with an understanding that learning is for life.