Montessori Method of Education
Why it can be a better method then traditional public schooling
Education is very important especially in this day and age. What school one attends and how they perceive school to be is a huge factor in one’s life success. There has been research done in the past few years proving that students who receive a Montessori education will prosper academically more so than those who receive a traditional education (Ryniker and Shoho, 2001). Traditional schools typically follow teacher-based philosophies and the Montessori education is student centered. On average, children enjoy student based philosophy classrooms.
Maria Montessori was the founder of the Montessori educational method. She graduated from the University of Rome Medical School and was working with “mentally deficient” children (Scotty, 2009). She always had a great aspiration to help children. The Montessori methods came about from her observations while working at the Casa dei Bambini (a daycare center in Rome). She saw how children learn naturally by things around them. Maria Montessori believed that children learned best by doing things individually and teaching themselves (Lewis, 1992). In Montessori schools children learn to deal with real life problems and how to overcome life’s obstacles. The teachers provide the children with freedom and independence. Maria Montessori’s methods help achieve this for the child.
There are basic Montessori methods. They are: The teacher must pay attention to the child, rather than the child paying attention to the teacher, the child proceeds at his/her own pace in an environment controlled to provide means of learning, and Imaginative teaching materials are the heart of the process (Kramer, 1976). In a Montessori classroom, children are doing their own thing, they are working on a project he/she chose, and they will learn by making mistakes. Many people think of it as “controlled chaos” (Kramer, 1976). Montessori resources are divided into four categories: practical life, sensorial, academic and cultural/artistic supplies (Scotty, 2009). With these resources they result in higher student success rates.
Alan Gartner and Dorothy Lipsky, City University of New York academic researchers conducted research about success rates of public Montessori students (Schapiro, 2002). The research conducted proves the children who attend Montessori public schools are better in certain subjects (Schapiro, 2002). According to the study conducted by Gartner and Lipsky, students who attended a Montessori public school did significantly better in math and social studies. Their overall GPA was not significantly higher than others but males received higher scores in science, while females received higher scores in math, compared to other students who did not attend a Montessori school (Schapiro, 2002). Montessori graduates also received higher scores overall on the ACT mathematics test, but lower on the ACT reading test (Schapiro, 2002). Montessori students also tend to fail fewer classes and take more honors and advanced placement courses (Schapiro, 2002). These higher educational performances are achieved while helping children to be accepting of other ethnicities, cultures, and differences.
Culture, race, and diversity are important subjects in today’s society. Many schools are not teaching students about different cultures and races. Montessori schools are teaching about diversity and other compound issues associated with culture (Robinson, 2006). There are so many different cultures and languages spoken in the world it is important for children to learn young and be able to interact with people of different cultures and who speak different languages (Robinson, 2006). This is one of the major differences between Montessori vs Traditional schools is they include teaching tolerance for others and their belief and culture.
There are many differences between Montessori schools and Traditional schools. At Montessori schools Children enjoy learning by doing, and have plenty of freedom. If children do not enjoy going to school they are not going to succeed academically. The Montessori Method allows children to learn a great deal of lifelong skills while having fun. Montessori’s educational philosophy is student centered. Student centered philosophies are focused on each child’s individual needs and help prepare students for a changing future (Sadker, Sadker, and Zittleman). Teachers and students work together on what should be learned and how to learn it rather than the teacher determining everything (Sadker et al.). With student centered philosophies the teacher is not thought of as a dictator but more as an equal with the students. Traditional schools generally follow teacher-centered philosophies. At schools where teacher centered philosophies are followed; they primarily care about academic subjects and traditional skills such as, math, science, English, and history (Sadker et al.). They determine each child’s competency by standardized tests and quizzes. The teacher is thought of as a dictator and someone who demands respect and authority (Sadker et al.).
In conclusion, students who attend a Montessori school receive higher scores in math and social studies and also take more honors and advanced placement courses. Students who attend a traditional school receive higher scores in reading (Schapiro, 2002). Montessori education is much more effective for students who are self-motivated and do not need much guidance. Overall, students who receive a Montessori education will succeed academically and will know how to handle real life situations more so than those who receive a traditional method of teaching.
Kramer, R., Maria Montessori. Retrieved November 8, 2016 from the World Wide Web.
Lewis, J.J, Maria Montessori. Retrieved November 8 ,2016 from the World Wide Web.
Ryniker, D.H., and Shoho, A.R., Student perceptions of their elementary classrooms: Montessori vs. Traditional Environments.
Sadker, D.M., Sadker, M.P., and Zittleman, K.R.,(2008) Teachers, Students, and Society (8th ed.).New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Schapiro,D., New Study Finds Success for Public Montessori Program.
Scotty, J., What is Montessori? Retrieved November 8, 2016 from the World Wide Web.
Wendy, R. (2006). Culture, Race, Diversity: How Montessori Spells Success in Public Schools.