Each aspect of the Montessori classroom is designed with intention. The design is based on the needs of the students. The primary focus of the Montessori classroom is to prepare students for success in life. This goal is supported by other areas of focus that include meeting the individual needs of each student and offering hands-on learning opportunities.
Preparing students for success in life
Maria Montessori – the founder of the Montessori Method – believed the goal of education should be to prepare students for success in life. Over the years, this long-term goal has been obscured in public school settings by the short-term goal of getting high standardized test scores. On the surface, high test scores sound like a positive. In reality, many teachers and schools feel pressure to teach students how to do well on the test. Knowing how to do well on a specific standardized test does not help students succeed in other areas of life. In the Montessori classroom, there is not short-sighted instruction or short-term goals that are more important than the overarching goal of preparing students for success in life.
Meeting the individual needs of each student
One of the ways that a Montessori education prepares students for success in life is by meeting the individual needs of each student. In the Montessori classroom, students are viewed as individuals with unique learning needs. The teacher interacts with each student and observes each student. With the information from those interactions and observations, the teacher can create a customized learning plan for each student. This design makes it possible for each student to thrive and learn. Each child will be provided the time and opportunity to learn and move at the right pace. The focus is not on keeping up or not getting too far ahead of the other students. Instead, the focus is on helping each student reach his or her full potential.
Offering hands-on learning opportunities
All students have unique learning needs, but there are some universal truths about the way that children learn. All children can benefit from hands-on learning opportunities. Students who are provided with the opportunity to learn through hands-on activities can fully master a concept more quickly than traditional methods of teaching. Hands-on learning supports the primary focus of the Montessori classroom because it mimics the real world. In nature, for example, students learn about trees by looking at them, touching them, and observing how they change throughout the year. A child’s understanding of what a tree is and what is does will be much deeper if it is acquired through this type of hands-on learning versus hearing a lecture about it or doing a worksheet.
The goal of the teachers and administration of Montessori programs is to provide students with a foundation that will help them be successful throughout life. It can be difficult to understand all of the ways that Montessori education is different from other types of education. You can experience the process for yourself by observing a real Montessori classroom. Reach out to Fountainhead Montessori School to schedule a class observation and campus tour.