Is Montessori education adaptable to all cultures?
Montessori education was developed in Italy, refined in India, and is prolific throughout the world. From Australia to Scandinavia, California to Nepal, it is a method of teaching, that has proven results.
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
In cultures where the prevalent belief is that the purpose of school is to force feed facts into children’s brains so that they can pass a test, people wishing to open a Montessori School will have a long road ahead of them. Not that it can’t be done, it can, but special adaptions and concessions have to be made for cultural expectations and traditions, or the school will have to specifically target ex-patriots and local families who have lived abroad and have a different set of expectations and desires for their child’s education.
“When I first wrote the above answer, I was thinking about my time spent attempting to set up a Montessori school in the Caribbean. Sadly, since the time of that post, because of the NCLB laws, the United States has become a country obsessed with test taking and the force feeding of facts. The Montessori Method, although proven to work even in this situation, is having a harder time being accepted than ever before.” See Taming Montessori By Linda Jacobson