There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the right educational program for your child. Two options to consider are Montessori and public education. Parents choose private programs over public or vice versa for a number of different reasons. One of the most important factors to consider as you debate Montessori education versus public education is academic standards. If you want to choose a program with the highest academic standards then you need to understand the foundational elements of each program.
The basis of the academic standards in public school
The academic standards in public schools are largely set by the state. Public education is handled, for the most part, on a state level. This means that there are state standards that dictate what teachers teach at each grade level. Public school is designed to ensure that all students have the same access to information and education. Unfortunately, the differences in learning styles and abilities do not factor in much to the design of the academic standards in public school. The academic standards in public programs are based off average students. Students who are advanced academically have some access to special programs within the public system but largely spend their younger education years waiting for classmates to catch up. The goal of the state is to get as many students as possible to meet minimum standards. This focus does not leave time or space to put much attention on developing a higher academic standard.
The basis of the academic standards in Montessori school
The Montessori philosophy of education dictates that academic standards be based on the individual child. Maria Montessori observed that children are naturally smart and will learn easily when provided with the right type of environment and opportunities. Each child has a unique potential, and the instruction in the Montessori classroom is customized to tap into that potential. Each student is provided with individualized instruction based on interests, abilities, and potential. The overarching goal of Montessori education is to prepare students for success in life. This naturally leads to rigorous academic standards because everything that is taught needs to have value in the real world.
Montessori education has higher academic standards than the typical public school. The focus on individualized instruction in Montessori programs allows teachers to focus on what each child needs academically. Limitations in public programs such as large class sizes, limited funding, and red tape all make it nearly impossible to give students the level of individualization that is found in the Montessori classroom. If you want your child to be in a school environment with rigorous academic standards then consider a Montessori education. You can schedule a time to observe a Montessori classroom and witness the higher academic standards for yourself.