5 Reasons Every School Needs Montessori
I have been heavily involved in the Education Accord here in Queensland the last couple of weeks and it is clearer to me than ever before as to why Montessori is the answer to so many issues Principals, Teachers, Parents and Children are having in the classroom.
1/. TEACHING THE WHOLE CHILD - Montessori has always had an environment which allows the child to work in many areas that help them establish a whole sense of self and gives them the opportunity to work with materials that meet their mental, physical, spiritual, social and spiritual needs. Practical Life, Grace and Courtesy exercises promote children who understand about contributing to the world around them.
2/. MEETING EACH CHILD WHERE THEY ARE AT: Montessori teachers meet each individual child where they are at. They are not forced into boxes, or have to struggle to keep up with 30 other children who are rushing through a curriculum prepping them for tests. A child is in an environment where they can comfortably move through with guidance from their teacher who only assists when needed. Montessori classes are multi-age environments, usually 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, 12-15, 15-18.
3/. LESS STRESS ON THE TEACHER: Teachers time is so stretched that they barely get a moment to themselves. Between parent-teacher interviews, marking , planning, lunch duty, staff meetings and normal class time, the burnout rate of teachers is alarmingly high. A montessori environment allows teachers to do what they love to do - teach children.
4/. MASS EDUCATION IS FAILING: Our students are not taught the skills of critical thinking that would serve them well as citizens in a free society for the entirety of their lives. Mass education focuses upon memorization and scoring well on exams. Our schools do not promote independent thought or independent actions–they teach conformity and control of the masses. Every student is taught virtually the same thing in essentially the same way - (Sullivan, http://www.counterpunch.org/2003/02/24/the-failure-of-mass-education/).
Treating education this way - in my opinion, never really worked. But even moreso in today's world where the pace of the world is moving far beyond what we have and/or can cope with. It is more important than ever for a child to be able to problem solve, to think about things in a different way, using their minds to connect dots adults haven't been able to do so yet. In a society where most of the kids that are in schools now may work in a job that hasn't even been created yet, in an industry that may not exist today. Our mainstream school system under prepares our children. That is worrying.
5/. NO NEED FOR GOLD STARS: A child in a montessori environment doesn't require an adult to tell them when they have done a good job to feel like they have. They don't require a chart with gold stars showing the world that they are worth something. They don't just get a trophy for participating. A Montessori environment allows the child to create their own intrinsic rewards system, to determine their own self-worth and ability to judge their own success based on their own performance, not on others.
- Rebecca Grugan