Many educational programs have a short-term view when they set goals for student success. The focus is on the next paper, the next test, or the next grade. The overall focus of education in this type of program is to teach students to do well on assessments. This model is good for state rankings of schools but is not the best way to prepare students for success in the future. Being good at taking tests is helpful in grade school, but it will not do much to improve success in a career or family life. Montessori programs take a long-term view of student success. The goal is not to develop students who will be successful at school but to prepare them for success in life. Three ways a Montessori education prepares students for success are by fostering independence, allowing for deep focus, and providing opportunities to interact with various age groups.
A Montessori education can prepare students for success in life by fostering independence. Students in the Montessori classroom engage in self-directed learning and are expected to take responsibility for their own actions. This design helps students develop into adults who feel a sense of personal responsibility for their own learning, which, in turn, helps them develop into life-long learners. Independence is an important characteristic to possess for anyone who wants to be successful in life.
Allows for deep focus
There is a common misconception that young children do not have the ability to focus deeply for any real amount of time. Maria Montessori found in her research that children can in fact, focus on a task for an extended amount of time. The key elements of getting this to happen are to provide an activity/topic that is of interest to the child and create the time and space necessary to allow for deep focus. Children often live in a world where they are pulled from one thing to another and never have a chance to deeply engage with a topic. This can become a problem as children grow and move into the adult world. The Montessori classroom has time and space built in to allow students to practice deep focus. Students are given time to explore uninterrupted inside of the classroom. This is a skill that can improve over time as students get time to practice. In life, the ability to focus deeply can increase your child’s chances of success in work and fulfillment in leisure.
Provides opportunities to interact with various ages
The ‘real world’ is not a place where people are always separated by age. When your child goes on to college, moves into the workforce, and becomes involved in the community, he or she will interact with people from various age groups. The design of the traditional classroom where students are grouped by age does not represent what your child will encounter in life. The Montessori classroom is designed to be mixed-age so students get to practice interacting with others outside of their immediate peer groups. This helps prepare students for success in life because learning to interact with a wide range of people is an essential part of doing well in work and other endeavors.
The overarching goal for students who attend a Montessori program is for them to be prepared for success in life. If you share the same hopes for your child’s education, Montessori education is worth exploring.