A Montessori education provides children with a long list of unique benefits. The design of the Montessori classroom and the tenets of the Montessori Method work together to create an environment that encourages exploration. Exploration in the classroom can help students develop a love for learning and a sense of responsibility for what they learn. It is an important part of developing life-long learners. A Montessori education encourages children to explore by providing opportunities to work independently, collaborate with others, and engage in self-directed learning.
A Montessori education encourages children to explore by providing opportunities to work independently
A Montessori education encourages children to explore by providing opportunities to work independently. Independent work is an important part of exploration. When students are provided with the opportunity to engage in focused work, true exploration is possible. Maria Montessori observed through her work with ‘hard to teach’ students that even young children can focus for an extended period of time when provided with the space and freedom to do so.
A Montessori education encourages children to explore by providing opportunities to collaborate
Collaborating with others in the classroom can also encourage children to explore. The Montessori classroom is designed to allow for collaboration between small groups of children. Students can work together to explore topics of interest and get the benefit of learning with and from their peers.
A Montessori education encourages children to explore by providing opportunities for self-directed learning
An important tenet of Montessori education is the emphasis on self-directed learning. In the classroom, students have an impact on what and how they learn. The teacher in the Montessori classroom carefully observes each student to learn about that student’s interests and preferences. The teacher then uses that information to create an individualized learning plan. Through this process, each student gets the opportunity to explore topics of interest on a deeper level. For example, a student who is interested in basketball can explore that interest while learning in a variety of subjects. In math, the shape of the ball, size of the court, height of the goal, number of spectators, etc. are all elements from basketball that can be incorporated into an individualized learning plan. That student can also learn about grammar, reading, and writing with content related to basketball. Scientific elements like gravity and motion can also be taught using basketball as an example. A student who wants to explore basketball (or another topic) can do so in the Montessori classroom while also learning all of the foundational concepts.
The Montessori classroom is a place where exploration is encouraged. The classroom itself is designed so that students can move around and explore different topics and ways to learn. Opportunities to work independently, collaborate with others, and engage in self-directed learning are all important ways that a Montessori education encourages children to explore.