A Montessori program that closely follows the teachings outlined by Maria Montessori looks very different from the ‘typical’ educational program. Montessori classrooms are designed around the needs of the students. The classroom is laid out to make it easy for students to move around and do what they need in order to engage in learning. You will not find students sitting and listening to a teacher for hours on end in the Montessori classroom. Instead, you will find students moving around and engaging in activities that are designed for the way they learn. The unique design of the Montessori classroom and curriculum provide students who go through the program with a unique perspective.
Students have responsibility in the learning process
Much of the learning that happens in the Montessori classroom is individualized. The teacher observes and works with each student to determine what and how the student should be taught. Then, the teacher creates an individualized learning plan for each student. Students are then provided with choices within that individualized learning plan. This design allows every child in the classroom to work at a level that is both engaging and challenging. The individualized setup of the Montessori classroom helps students develop the perspective that they have a voice and a responsibility when it comes to what they learn. If students internalize this perspective, it can help them develop into life-long learners.
Learning can happen in conjunction with others
While there is a lot of emphases put on the individual child in the Montessori classroom, learning to work with others is also a core value of Montessori education. Many Montessori classrooms have a mixed-age design that puts students together who would be in separate grades in a traditional classroom. Students get the opportunity to interact with other children who are not in their immediate peer group. Older students develop self-esteem, leadership skills, and a deeper knowledge of concepts by teaching and mentoring younger students. Younger students are provided with the opportunity to learn from someone besides the teacher or another adult. This unique situation can help students develop the perspective that it is possible to learn from a wide range of people. In addition, this design helps students develop skills that are necessary throughout life in situations where group cooperation is necessary.
School should provide preparation for life
In the public school system, there is a lot of pressure on teachers and administrators to show certain test scores at the end of the year. Because of this, the focus in the public school classroom often becomes about preparing students to successfully pass the standardized tests. In the Montessori classroom, the focus is not on a single test score or even an end-of-year grade. Instead, the perspective of education in Montessori programs is that it should prepare students for success in life. The long-range goals in the Montessori classroom help students develop a unique perspective on the purpose of education. Instead of seeing it as something to get through, students discover that education can provide value in all areas of life.
If you decide to send your child to a Montessori program like Fountainhead Montessori School, the unique design of the classroom and program will have a positive impact on your student’s perspective on learning and education. You can get a glimpse of the unique perspective that Montessori school can provide by scheduling a time to observe a class.