Questions & Answers
What is the difference between Montessori and Traditional Education?
In more everyday terms, Montessorians disagree with the idea that all children learn in the exact same way at the exact same time of their life. They believe that to be an effective teacher you can’t say, “It is the 4th day, of the 3rd month, of second grade, so open your math book to page 49 and…” Instead we observe each child and ask ourselves, “What does this child understand? What is the next concept this child needs to learn? In which way does this child learn? (Are they observers? Talkers? Someone who needs to physically…
Can you summarize the Montessori philosophy in one sentence?
Montessori education is scientifically based, multi-modality, data-driven differentiated instruction using small flexible groupings for explicit instruction and individualized practiced during an extended global access time to insure that each student is working at their maximum plane of development while addressing the state’s mandatory standards.’
A sentence using everyday terms:
Montessori education is based on the belief that children are individuals with their own strengths, needs, likes and learning styles, therefore the teacher needs to guide each child through the learning process by using materials that fit their specific needs and pace.
I've been told that Montessori is 'unstructured'. Is this true?
In a Montessori classroom where the children are all working at their “maximum plane of development” and therefore doing different things, the “structure” revolves around rules and procedures so that they can all be doing those different things, but still learn.
What if the child just doesn't want to work? Since Montessori is not based on punishments and rewards, how is this issue dealt with?
AMI Montessorians, especially those that come from a preschool environment and have followed their students to the elementary level will be the ones who adhere to the belief that all materials and concepts should be “self-chosen” most tenaciously. This is because IT WAS a preschool belief. If you think about it, during Dr. Montessori’s time children entering kindergarten weren’t expected to know things like continents, landforms and cultures.
How do most children adjust to traditional school after being in a Montessori school?
At first she is shocked and confused by the rules of the school. As she says in a voice over,”Never before had I lived in a world where adults didn’t trust me. I got in trouble for the most random things.” Then she is seen getting up to sharpen her pencil or to go to the bathroom and teachers being dismayed with her.
How do Montessori children do in college and the work environment?
Montessori education has been at the forefront of these studies and has been studied extensively over the past few years.All the research states that on the average, children in a true Montessori environment do as well as or better on standardized tests than children in a more traditional environment. On things that aren’t tested, like science, history, social interactions, they almost always score better.
What are the pros and cons of a multi-age classroom?
No textbooks, no grades! Someone explain this to me because it does not make any sense!
I understand that Montessori does not typically give homework. Does a child who attends a Montessori elementary school have problems in High School with homework?
Are Montessori schools relevant in today's society?
As far as relevance in elementary education, over the past few years billions of dollars have been spent to assure that teachers know inside and out the most recent scientifically based research on education that there is.
If Montessori education is so great then why do the majority of schools stop at 12 years of age?
Montessori philosophy states that as children mature so does their brain. As their brain matures, it acquires and processes information differently. Our classrooms are set up to reflect these different methods of acquiring and processing knowledge.
Is Montessori education adaptable to all cultures?
With that said, there is a problem in adapting it for the educational system of a culture that has high stakes testing and therefore a focus on rote memorization. It is not that Montessori children don’t generally do well when tested, but it is the fear that they won’t that worries parents and non-Montessori educated administrators and teachers.
Why don't public schools use the Montessori Method?
I see that the American Montessori Society has connections to peace movements. I don't want my kids to be indoctrinated by any side. Is Montessori categorically liberal?
Education for Peace is teaching children to think about other ways of solving problems besides violence. It is our firm belief that children who are taught to respect other people, their cultures and beliefs, only resort to violence as a last resort.