The Montessori method is a child-centered educational approach, typically associated with early childhood programs. Dr. Maria Montesori, a doctor from Italy, applied her scientific observation skills to develop this system of educating a child. The method emphasizes on a learning environment tailored to each child’s specific ability and requirements.
Advantages of Montessori Education
· Enthusiastic self-motivated learners – Montessori methods are designed to provide space for children to learn at their own pace and in their own way. Teachers train students more than just basic reading, writing, and arithmetic, with a lifelong love of learning.
· Results in improved social and problem-solving skills – Students typically interact better with their peers. They learn to resolve differences in a positive manner and grow up learning the importance of connecting with others.
· Students gain advanced reading and mathematical abilities – Montessori students possess an advanced understanding of abstract and practical mathematical concepts. Children display a more advanced set of literacy and math skills, as the Montessori system puts a huge emphasis on a child’s foundation and development.
· Students are compassionate, confident, and more polite – Montessori students display high self-esteem and greater respect for elders around them. Students are more self-confident and demonstrate more kindness and compassion with their fellow friends.
Some facts about Montessori Schools
· Montessori schools are individually owned and operated: These schools are not a franchise operation, but they are owned and operated individually. Most Montessori schools are small with less than 100 students, and generally are not a part of a profit-making organization. The degree to which a school can be called Montessori is dependent on several factors, so it is better to understand all the details prior to a child’s admission.
· Learning material: Montessori schools in Pune ensure learning material to be made of the practical life curriculum. Activities like pouring different materials, using utensils like knives, scissors, cleaning, and polishing, preparing snacks, gardening, etc are some of the practical skills taught in these schools. The ultimate aim is to enhance fine motor skills with eye-hand coordination, which is necessary for independent living.
· Montessori Method or a scientific method?: Montessori children do better at reading and math and also outperform other children as a whole. Developments of neurosciences are introduced in the Montessori system to make studies more interesting. Dr. Montessori never used the term ‘Montessori Method’, but she always referred to her method as ‘Scientific Education’ or ‘Scientific Pedagogy’.
· Multi-Age Classrooms: A typical Montessori classroom consists of a group of children with three year age spans. A multi-age classroom encourages mentorship, strengthens observation skills, and reinforces the concepts in the children. Multi-age grouping helps younger students to learn more from their older peers, and older students tend to retain more knowledge when they teach the younger ones. Also, children of different ages in a classroom mimic the real world, teaching students how to deal with people of different ages and interests.
The Montessori system can rightly be defined as a scientifically founded method of educating children to develop all aspects of a child: social, emotional, physical, and academic.