When you think of school, you probably think of those years you spent in elementary school, where you spent more of the day sitting at your desk and listening to your teacher. While this method of schooling is still the most popular today, another less known method of schooling is becoming more and more popular among parents and educators. The Montessori method of school has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. Nevertheless, this type of schooling uses a very different methodology from the conservative one and its application therefore still remains fairly controversial.
Here are a few things you should know about Montessori schools.
Who is Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori was a professor of Anthropology in Rome in the early 1900’s. Highly influenced by Fredich Froebel, who invented kindergarten, and Johann Henrich Pestalozzi, Maria Montessori strongly believed that children learn through activities. She came with a new philosophy regarding children’s education. Maria Montessori philosophy and methodology teach that a children learn more from a stimulating environment. Accordingly to her philosophy, a teacher is more a “keeper of the environment” and helps create one that facilitate kids’ self-conducting learning process.
Nowadays, many teachers and parents strongly follow this type of education, as shown by the growing number of Montessori school in the world.
What are the differences between Montessori schools and traditional schools?
In traditional classrooms, children are grouped together with children of the same age and follow exactly the same classes, take part to the same activities and work.
Montessori classrooms are very different. Typically, a Montessori classroom is design to accommodate children from different age groups and follows an open concept style, with different work areas. Lessons are usually given to small groups of children, while other children are working or studying on their own. This concept allows kids to broaden their individual and social development.
In a traditional school, the teacher acts as the one who gives all the information, provides schooling, using mainly books and a strict methodology. In a Montessori school, the teacher acts as a guide, and often mix conventional teaching tools but also other materials such as stories and objects. In Montessori schools, students often take responsibility by planning their work and their time.
Montessori students – strong performers
While many parents strongly believe in the Montessori methodology, this schooling method still remains fairly unknown and is often controversial. Nevertheless, it was shown by psychologists in the U.S. that children at Montessori schools not only received very good education, but even, in some areas, out-performed kids attending traditional schools. Moreover, pupils attending Montessori schools seemed to out-perform others when it came to social skills and behavior.