Montessori education is a different method of education that focuses on student development rather than learning. In other words, it does not emphasize exams, quizzes or grades. In fact, it aims to create mature and socially adept students. The system was invented by Maria Montessori around 1900 in Italy to educate poor children.
In a study in the U.S., students following the Montessori system performed better than traditional students. The biggest differences were in social skills and behavior. There is also more beliefs of justice and fairness in Montessori Education and emotionally positive feelings.
The Montessori education believes that children learn best when they choose by themselves what to learn. In Montessori classes today, there are children from different age backgrounds who participate in various activities. Teachers are only there to guide the children through the activities.
In Montessori classrooms, children learn the value of independence. This makes them capable of making the right decisions and seeking knowledge by themselves. Also, they learn to support and help each other which builds a sense of responsibility. Tracy Yarke, a teacher who uses Montessori style at Rasmussen College says the style uses the child’s interests to spark learning and develop at their own pace.
By focusing on multiple activities with different paces for every child, Montessori education helps build leadership, coordination and concentration skills. This is a lot of freedom for the students to pick up their own activities but they are all performed with specified parameters. Students are also taught in a family based environment. It gives them the support and the encouragement to seek knowledge by themselves.
A recent report by Dr. Elliott Landon, a superintendent of schools in Long Beach, explained that improving the quality of education in both local and national levels is associated with providing a good pre-school education. The number of Montessori school in the U.S. has increased by 33 percent since 1981.
On a global level, Montessori schools have opened in various locations around the world. There are schools in Egypt, Thailand, Tanzania, Mexico and Argentina. Most of these schools started operating quite recently in the twenty-first century. The schools have gained support among refugee communities in those developing countries. Montessori education in developing countries also aims to give better chances for disadvantaged children who face problems to acquire basic traditional education.
– Noman Ahmed