What are the primary goals for students enrolled in Montessori programs? This is a good question to ask if you are thinking about putting your child in a Montessori program. The reality is that the goals for education can vary drastically between programs. For example, public schools have pressure from the state to measure student learning and ‘prove’ progress. Standardized testing is used as a way to demonstrate student learning. The unfortunate reality is that a design focused on test scores can get in the way of students having the chance to truly master concepts. The primary goals of the program you choose are important because they have a direct impact on the design of the curriculum and style of instruction. In Montessori programs, three of the primary goals include preparing students for success in life, helping students become independent and self-directed learners, and ensuring that each student has the chance to learn and understand concepts fully.
Get prepared for success in life
If the Montessori Philosophy had to be defined by one goal it would be the goal of preparing students for success in life. This goal has a direct impact on all aspects of Montessori education. Shortsighted goals like test scores are not part of the Montessori Philosophy. Learning to take a test well is not the same as learning the concepts that are being tested. Instead, Montessori education focuses on teaching students how to deeply explore a concept and develop mastery. This is a skill that is beneficial in an academic setting and will serve students well in their careers and adult lives. Every element of Montessori education is developed with this goal in mind.
Become independent and self-directed learners
Students in the Montessori classroom are provided with options when it comes to what and how they learn. The teacher prepares the environment based on student needs and then students have some freedom within that prepared environment. This design can help students start developing a sense of personal responsibility for their education. It can help students internalize the belief that they are an essential part of the learning process. In the future, that belief will help students to continue learning long after they are finished with formal education.
Learn and understand concepts deeply
There is no need to rush through concepts in the Montessori classroom. The focus is on giving students time and opportunities to learn and understand concepts deeply. Since there is no pressure to perform on standardized tests, students have the chance to really dive into various concepts. The teacher in the Montessori classroom creates an individualized learning plan to facilitate this type of learning for each child.
Getting familiar with the primary goals for students in Montessori programs will help you determine if Montessori is the right option for your child. You can learn more about the Montessori Method by exploring the resources in the Fountainhead Montessori School parent library.