Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.” Maria Montessori

Here’s an introductory video by the American Montessori Society on the Montessori education approach from parent’s perspective:

The Parent perspective of a child living in a montessori environment

Some of my friends think that Montessori education is meant for kids who are born brainy or super-intelligent. Rather, it’s model is meant for building better brains through hands-on learning.

On top of that, the Montessori education doesn’t classify any child as brainy or intelligent. It’s approach simply flows along with the works of human nature.

The Montessori education is based on the beliefs of Mari Montessori since 1897 and her methods evolved quite a bit since then.

From the beginning, the Montessori education works not only for kids from birth to 6 years, but also from 6 to 12, from 12 to 18, and from 18 to 24.

What is the Montessori Philosophy

To give you an overview, here’s a full picture of The Montessori Philosophy that Starwood Montessori School has come up with.

An infographic that introduces the montessori education philosophy and approach

Schools that follow this field of thought will have low-height shelves with individual activity material placed neatly in each section. After children picked out the material from the shelf, the teacher will demonstrate what to do, after which the children will try the activity on their own.

Once a child wishes to move on to the next activity, he or she is encouraged to return the earlier material back to where he or she has taken it from, before picking the next one.

The Montessori school system ignites the passion in your child

Montessori school fees aren’t made affordable to everyone. Not because it’s out to scam parents who have the buying power. There are evident distinctions between a real Montessori school and a conventional one.

The Excellent Montessori School wraps them up well in a video comparing Montessori vs Conventional school.

Comparing Montessori vs conventional school

Let’s check out the paradigm shift comparing between Montessori and “Traditional” education and how the Montessori environment is able to ignite the flames in children.

A table that highlights the paradigm shift and comparison between traditional and montessori approach to education
[via NAMTA]

Does the Montessori education work?

Somehow, years of research and a recent study showed that students who’ve been through the Montessori curriculum fare better in Mathematics than those who went through the traditional route.

Take a look at these charts taken from CUNY Institute for Education Policy.

Students from montessori schools fare better in tests than those from traditional schools

Although Montessori-trained kids have an edge as compared to those who went through conventional approach, it’s still debatable when it comes to determining if Montessori brings about a standard outcome or success to children who’ve been through the program.

Angeline S. Lillard, Professor of Psychology in Child Development, University of Virginia mentioned in her research that “although Montessori is a fairly common alternative form of schooling, there is little research on its outcomes, and what research exists is inconsistent.”

Possibly more time and resources have to be dedicated to observing Montessori practices over the developmental years of groups of children before anyone can truly determine if Montessori is the path for all kids to take.

Find out if a particular school follows the Montessori principles before enrolling

Be mindful when you opt for preschools with names that have the word “Montessori” in it. Not all Montessori preschools follow the Montessori principles entirely.

Even if you don’t mind your child undergoing preschool with mixed programs, knowing if the Montessori-labelled school takes on the true-blue Montessori program will be helpful for you to follow his or her development process.

One way is, you may take a visit to the school and check out their learning materials. They should be specially designed, rather than any other toy you will see at toy stores. Most likely they will look similar to what is shown in this short video clip:

Montessori Specially Designed Sensory Learning Materials for Preschools

[via Wikipedia]

Over to You

Have you been looking out for a Montessori-based preschool for your child? Let us know your concerns in the comment box below.

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