The Design of the Montessori Classroom Fosters Positive Interactions with Others

03, Feb 2021

The design of the Montessori classroom helps foster positive interactions with others. Students are regularly presented with opportunities to work with others, expected to take personal responsibility for themselves and their interactions, and get to interact with students who range in age. Each of these factors is intentionally designed to foster positive interactions and help students learn to work through any struggles in constructive ways. The child-centered design of the classroom and the small student to teacher ratio are two other elements that can help foster positive interactions with others.

Group work

Students first need to be presented with opportunities to interact to build group working skills. In the Montessori classroom, group work is an important part of the curriculum. Students regularly work in small groups on projects in which each person plays a role. Regularly working in groups helps students learn how to interact with others and be part of a productive team.

Personal responsibility

The teacher in the Montessori classroom does not micromanage the groups. Instead, each student is expected to take personal responsibility for his or her role in the group. When there is an issue, question, or disagreement, students are told to try and come up with a solution without involving the teacher whenever possible. When students are given the responsibility and provided the space to come up with solutions to problems without teacher intervention, they learn a number of valuable skills.

Mixed-age classroom

The Montessori classroom is mixed age, which means that it looks different than the typical classroom that is assigned based on age. When students work in groups, they get the opportunity to work with students who are their age, older, and younger. This experience helps students learn how to interact with others who are not in their immediate peer group. This is an important skill to learn because the majority of situations outside of the classroom also involve interacting with various age groups.

Child-centered design

The child-centered design of the Montessori classroom helps foster positive interactions with others for a number of reasons. First, students have everything that they need to succeed within reach. This can cut down on frustration and make it easier for students to fulfill the various roles in a group. In addition, the child-centered design provides students with opportunities for group work that is appropriate for their age and skill level. The problems that group members will face in the scenario will be within their ability to solve because the class and curriculum are both designed with the needs of the child in mind.

Small student to teacher ratio

A small student to teacher ratio helps foster positive interactions between student and teacher. In the Montessori classroom, the teacher has time to truly interact with and learn about each student. Students get the opportunity to practice interacting with an adult who is outside of his or her family. Learning to interact appropriately with adults is a valuable skill that students in the Montessori classroom learn quickly.

In the Montessori Philosophy, the ultimate goal of education is to prepare students for success in life. Learning to interact positively and appropriately with other people is a foundational element of gaining success in all areas of life. You can witness the ways that the Montessori classroom design helps foster positive interactions when you schedule a time to observe a class.

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