Much more so than people realize. One would be hard pressed to find a pre-school that doesn’t have child sized materials for their students. Montessori was the first to do that, along with teaching young children to do things for themselves.
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.
Why? Because it is the firm belief of Margaret Spellings, the US Secretary of Education, that teachers have this knowledge. She rightfully believes that it will improve our classroom management, curriculum development, and implementation of subject material.
What does the latest scientifically based educational research support?
DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION -. (adapting the instruction to the level and needs of each individual student.)
FLEXIBLE GROUPINGS – organizing instructional groups according to the level of instruction that each child needs, but the groups aren’t static. As information is mastered, the children are moved to another more appropriate group.
MULTI-MODALITY INSTRUCTION – teaching the concept in many different ways
INTEGRATED INSTRUCTION – integrating science, history, social studies, and geography into the core curriculum.
ASESSMENTS – constantly assessing the mastery and academic needs of the students
DIRECT INSTRUCTION – isolating a concept and directly teaching it
REALIA – bringing the actual thing or a close facsimile of what you are teaching about into the classroom
All different terms for the precepts of the Montessori Philosophy.