Focuses on Key Developmental Stages
A Montessori curriculum focuses on key developmental milestones in children between the ages of two and five-years-old. Younger children focus on honing large muscle and language skills. Four-year-olds work on fine motor skill and completing everyday activities. Older pre-school students broaden their learning experience to include their communities and our global society.
Encourages Cooperative Play
The teacher facilitates the classroom allowing the student to guide the activities they do. This encourages children to share and work cooperatively to explore the various stations in the Montessori classroom. Children in Montessori classrooms, by the very nature of the environment, learn to respect one another and build a sense of community.
Learning is Child-Centered
Montessori pre-school students enjoy a classroom and curriculum designed around their specific needs and abilities that allow them to explore and learn at their own pace and on their terms. Everything in the classroom is within reach of the child, and the work cycle with mixed ages allows the older students to work with the younger ones providing natural mentoring.
Children Naturally Learn Self-Discipline
While the Montessori Method allows children to choose the activities they want to work on, there are specific “ground rules” for the class that are consistently enforced by the teacher. This environment naturally teaches children self-discipline, and it refines critical skills like concentration, self-control, and motivation.
Classroom Environment Teaches Order
All objects and activities have a precise location on the shelves of a Montessori classroom. When children finish with their activity, they place items back into their appropriate places. This sense of order helps facilitate the learning process, teaches self-discipline, and caters to a young child’s innate need for an orderly environment.
Teachers Facilitate the Learning Experience
Teachers in the Montessori classroom are “guides” that facilitate the learning experience rather than determine what it will look like. Teachers take the lead from the children in the classroom, ensure the ground rules are followed and encourage students to perform tasks at their own pace.
Learning Method Inspires Creativity
Since children are allowed to choose their activities and work at them on their terms, creativity in the classroom is encouraged. Children work at tasks for the joy of the work, rather than the result, which allows them to focus more on the process than result a natural path to creativity. Exposure to a wide variety of cultures also encourages children to broaden their thinking about the world.
May be More Effective in Developing Certain Skills
Research conducted by Angeline Lillard, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, examined the abilities of children taught in a Montessori preschool. She found that five-year-olds in Montessori classrooms had higher math and reading skills than their counterparts in public school. Additionally, as they progressed through the grades, they exhibited stronger social skills.
System is Highly Individualized to Each Student
Students in the Montessori program are allowed to explore activities and concepts at their own pace. This naturally encourages children to try more challenging areas, which accelerates their learning experience. Learning occurs at a comfortable pace for each student, rather than inflicting the same rate on every student in a classroom.
Curriculum Focused on Hands-On Learning
One of the greatest benefits of the Montessori Method, particularly during the early learning experience, is the focus on hands-on learning. The emphasis is on concrete rather than abstract learning, as students work on activities that teach language, math, culture, and practical life lessons. Teachers encourage students to concentrate on tasks, and they discourage students from interrupting one another, allowing students to focus on activities until they master them.
Resource: Public School Review, Grace Chen