Curious About Montessori? Here’s What You Need to Know
Even though Montessori schools have been around for over a century, the buzz on this educational program has recently become markedly more audible in recent years. Currently, there are more than 5,000 private schools that employ Montessori educational methods, and that number is growing rapidly every year.
So what about Montessori makes it so special? Montessori schools are designed to create a learning experience that is centered around a child’s needs and learning styles. This learning experience is characterized by its unique, multi-age classroom structure where Montessori children are encouraged to work in small groups and learn in time frames that work for them. The Montessori curriculum has no tests, quizzes, or grades, and has an emphasis focus on social skills.
Montessori programs are becoming more popular because of the undeniable benefits that children reap from them. A recent study showed that Montessori children are more likely to have good academic and social skills, with better developed senses of fairness and justice. In another study, researchers found that students were more prepared for elementary school programs, such as reading and math, as compared to non-Montessori students. These students also had much higher levels of motivation when it came to their schoolwork.
While this means of education comes off as revolutionary and unconventional to some, the Montessori method has been around since the early 20th century. It all began when Maria Montessori opened her first Montessori charter school. Maria was an Italian physician who became fascinated with behavioral and educational methods. When she opened the first Montessori school in Italy in 1907, Maria wanted the school to be a space for all learners, including those who were mentally challenged and had financial disadvantages.
Up until her death in 1952, Maria dedicated her life to researching and perfecting the Montessori method, making it the unique educational program that it is today.