If you have young children, you have probably heard the word “Montessori” pop up from time to time, but do you actually know what Ways Montessori Education Differs?
Montessori is actually an educational method created by the Italian physician, Maria Montessori and it differs from today’s standard education in several ways.
In a Montessori classroom, it’s not about a teacher dictating the learning who introduces new activities to the children.
But instead you have someone there as an observer, allowing children to learn at their own pace.
They don’t provide lessons in a typical way; instead, they offer guidance and advice if a child seeks it.
The Montessori method puts a lot more trust in the child’s capabilities and their intrinsic instincts to learn.
While modern methods tend to make education something that is enforced, Montessori recognizes children are born ready to learn and actively enjoy the process when it is presented in the right ways.
Mosaic Montessori Academy provides authentic Montessori education to families in Calgary and explains more about how this method encourages self-motivation in their blog.
Most people view school as a series of subjects presented to children, dictated by a curriculum and the individual teacher’s decision on how to implement it.
In a Montessori classroom, there are opportunities to learn about a range of subjects, from literacy and math to practical skills and nature study.
But these are laid out in an accessible way, and it is up to the children to decide when they want to explore a particular area.
The roadmap of the child’s learning is not drawn up for them, instead, they have the freedom to choose their own path.
This flexibility takes into account that while one child is ready to learn about numbers, another child is more interested in conducting science experiments with water play.
This independence helps boosts a child’s confidence in their own abilities and encourages them to challenge themselves even more.
A big difference in a Montessori setting is they don’t group certain ages together.
Children of different ages use equipment which “grows” with the child so is able to offer learning opportunities for younger and older age groups and provides a much more natural way of socializing.
Children learn from each other, so to have mixed ages means a three-year-old watching a five-year-old draw numerals in a sand tray is more likely to want to replicate that skill.
A child in a mixed-aged classroom is also less likely to lose confidence in their own abilities when surrounded by mixed age groups all learning at their own pace.
This differs from traditional classrooms, which group children of the same age together and expect the whole class to learn at roughly the same pace.
This pressure and sense of “falling behind” can mean children lose confidence in their own abilities.
Outside the classroom
While educational time outdoors is growing in popularity among many school settings, it has always been an integral part of the Montessori method.
You only need to watch a child in nature, how their curiosity is sparked and how they don’t need any instruction to investigate and experiment, and it is obvious how this environment reinforces a Montessori approach to education.
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