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Montessori education: The pros & cons

Date: December 1, 2015 Author: admin Categories: Articles 0

Every education system has pros and cons for both teachers and students, and Montessori is no different.

Some benefits of Montessori education include:

  • Children learn independence
  • Multiage classrooms help students learn from and support one another
  • Children learn at their own pace
  • Children are often more excited to learn because they’re learning about things in which they’re interested

Tracy Yarke, a Rasmussen College ECE instructor, uses Montessori methods in the childcare practice at which she works. She says that Montessori’s individualistic approach is one important benefit.

“One child may be learning their sounds while another is already writing a story,” she says. “We are able to meet the child where they are at developmentally and use the child’s interests to spark learning.”

Michael Argiro of4T Financial has only good things to say about the Montessori school his son attended in Connecticut.

“My son learned to work independently, work up to his level, help others and to be kind,” Argiro said. His son, now 14 years old, was in a Montessori school for three years, until he went to first grade. Argiro says that his son has stayed friends with many of his classmates even though they’ve gone on to different schools.

While there are many benefits to Montessori education, critics do find some detriments to the system:

  • Teachers may have trouble letting students pick their own activities
  • Some students may not deal well with the lack of traditional classroom structure
  • Students may have difficulty transitioning to a traditional classroom later
  • The term “Montessori” is able to be used by anyone, whether the school is truly Montessori or not

Argiro found that his son had no trouble adjusting after leaving Montessori and is still an excellent student. “I can really say that [my wife and I] don’t have any cons to our decision to send our son to Montessori even though we originally agonized where to send him,” he says.

Yarke says the Montessori structure may be difficult for some teachers and students.

“The freedom in the classroom can be challenging for certain students and teachers,” she says. “Montessori believed strongly in a child-led, uninterrupted, three-hour work period. This means that the child chooses what they want to work on, again and again, all morning long. Some children, and educators, need more structure and struggle with this aspect.”

Yarke cautions that parents and educators should do their research to understand what Montessori means and what an “authentic” Montessori curriculum looks like so they’re able to judge a facility on more than just the name.