Understand the philosophy and methods of Montessori schools

Education Tips

The Montessori Method of teaching is a style of education that was developed by Maria Montessori. The approach is mainly child-centred and based on observations and scientific analysis of children’s behaviour. At the heart of this teaching method is the idea that schools must provide a learning experience that attempts to develop children physically, socially, cognitively, and emotionally. This approach’s success is apparent as the Montessori method has now been around for over 100 years.

Using tried and tested practices and methods, Montessori schools help develop well-rounded children with a more positive and vibrant personality.

Want to understand what Montessori Method is? Read the following points to gain a better understanding.

Gain Through Experience

What is the Montessori Method of teaching? It is a way of teaching to let children learn through experiences in their surrounding environment. That approach runs counter to the standard teaching method that many international schoolsuse, which puts a premium on memorization, wherein children learn their lessons through lectures and passively listening. The Montessori method is a definite departure from that.

DIY approach

The Montessori teaching way states that education must be about helping children learn how to do things independently. It emphasizes the idea of children absorbing lessons through hands-on experiences. With a system designed to focus on the spontaneous application of human intellect to situations, this teaching style’s philosophy is all about raising children to be independent learners.

Prepared Classroom

The Montessori way of teaching relies on using a prepared classroom that installs a lifetime of learning. The prepared classroom has the following qualities: order and freedom of movement, structure, and freedom of choice. With a structured space, the students can learn through hands-on situations. The prepared environment must exhibit an arrangement that encourages movement and activity. The environment must also be an expression of beauty and harmony as well as of cleanliness. The set must be proportionate to what the child needs and should support the child’s development.

Learning Materials

The school often provides the learning materials to the students. The materials serve as a useful guide to the children by offering ways to acquire independent learning discoveries. The modules are prepared to encourage improved brain development in children. The point of the free activity in the structured environment or prepared space is to instil and train specific characteristics of children at varying ages. The educational environment is customized to fulfil basic human qualities – it helps—and to an extent—makes it possible for the children to develop independence in the areas targeted by the prepared space.

Teaching Staff

In a Montessori school, teachers are a link between the children and the prepared classroom or environment. The teachers prepare the classroom. They also observe the students and step in to steer them in the right direction without rushing them. They allow the children to learn at their own pace. That’s essential since it will enable the child to absorb the lessons according to their abilities. These teachers operate under the idea that they respect the children, and that distinction is shown in the many different ways they treat or manage the students.

For instance, let’s presume there are assignments submitted by the students, and the teacher finds an error. What is the best way to bring it to the child’s attention? The first step for the teacher is to respect the output. Next, instead of pointing out mistakes, the teacher will help the student correct the work through guidance. In the future, the teacher will create modules or projects for every child that addresses their needs.

Learning Environment

In a Montessori, because of the integrated approach to learning, the children are encouraged to grow both academically and emotionally. Learning through all of their five senses is encouraged. That means they learn not only by listening or watching or even reading, which is the traditional teaching style used in many classrooms. In Montessori education, students are allowed to learn in an environment adapted to their unique needs and situations, geared towards the child’s development. That learning environment, then, reflects the school’s philosophy. The children are not only taught about the value of getting excellent grades, they are also aware that other types of intelligence, approaches, and ways can be used to function and prosper in the world.

Learning Experience

One of the best takeaways from Montessori schools is that the lessons are taught through learning blocks or units. Concepts are not taught in isolation but as a part of the whole. Children are free to roam around the classroom and investigate, led by their curiosity. That kind of novel approach is encouraged. When you enter the classroom, you won’t see the teacher standing in the front, feeding the lesson. Instead, you’ll see an adult moving from one child to another, providing guidance and help. That’s the learning experience that your children can look forward to when you send them to a school with a Montessori program. As a result, the children are exposed to complex concepts early on with unique materials. These creative elements in the classroom help promote the excitement of learning.

Well-Rounded

One of the reasons parents send their children to a Montessori learning program is for a well-rounded education. Children are taught to focus on STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math while expressing themselves through artistic means. They are motivated to participate in sports. The extracurricular activities allow the children to grow up with well-rounded personalities which factor in individual interests. The extracurricular activities also provide the students with in-depth information and training on subjects that spark their interests. The focus is to help hone interests into passions that can later become careers or lifetime hobbies.

Language

Another reason that parents choose schools with this program is the fact that they offer language learning classes. At an early age, children are taught a second language, which helps their brain development. The practical benefits of being multilingual are tremendous. It is incredibly convenient if your children are transferring to a new school after you’ve relocated to the country. For example, if you are shifting to Tokyo, then learning the local language—Japanese—is a must to make the transition easier. Also, some curricula allow for a second language, like French. Your children could learn both languages at an early age, which means they will know how to navigate through those societies with greater ease.

If you plan to stay in Japan for the foreseeable future, knowing that your children are learning the local language means it will be easier for them to adapt. That makes the future seem a lot better. And if they add French learning to their curriculum, that could open career opportunities for your children later in life. They could even pursue their studies in France since they already know the language.

School Selection

If you are thinking about sending your child to a Montessori-school, make sure you know what to look for. First, take a long look at the program. What does it include? What can you expect when you send your child to that school? What kind of teaching techniques do they use? If you want your child to be the best version of themselves, to achieve their fullest potential, then consider the learning experience and environment that the school offers. Montessori-teaching recognizes and respects the uniqueness of every child. Is that the philosophy that the school exhibits? What about age-appropriate learning? Is that the environment that the school delivers? You’ll want to pay attention to these details, too.

Reputation and Reviews

Don’t forget to check out the reputation of the school. How long has it been around? If it’s been there for years, then you can expect a ton of reviews. Go over the feedback from other parents. Are they satisfied? What kind of issues did they encounter? Does the school have a reputation for producing topnotch students who are not only academically gifted but well-rounded as well?

Teaching Ratio

How many students are in a class? How many are assigned to the teacher? Sometimes, big classes have teaching assistants, which means students still get the help and guidance they need. However, if there are too many students assigned to one teacher, and there are no teaching assistants, it is time to continue your search for the right school. Too many students mean that the teacher won’t have enough time to devote to every student, which increases the chances of your child being ignored or side-lined.

The Montessori school program prioritizes the use of human intellect in teaching children so they can acquire an education that helps them grow into adults with a broad vision of life. That mindset and perspective will aid them for the rest of their life.

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