Montessori education is a development-focused education that doesn't emphasise exams, grades or any other competitive thing that may pressure the student.
Montessori schools focus on creating socially adept and mature students.
Research conducted revealed that students in Montessori schools outperformed students in traditional schools.
While they did better in everything, their social and behavioural skills were incredibly exceptional compared to students in regular schools.
Education methods, both old staples and newly-minted, are always under the microscope of parents, educators and experts.
It is essential children are getting the education that best suits what will help them find success.
And equally important, a critical eye is placed on education to hold methods, philosophies and techniques to rigid standards.
The logic behind Montessori education is that children will be more willing to learn when they choose what they want.
Individuals from different backgrounds and of various ages come together to participate in activities they love. The only reason why the teacher is present is to guide them through these activities.
There are many benefits of Montessori education, but there are also some disadvantages. Considering both will give you an idea of how the Montessori system impacts the individual.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Montessori Education
There have been many early childhood education types of research over the years. It is known that children have different minds, and they learn differently, so there would be various methods and theories of education teachers can engage in their Classroom.
Among these methods, one popular method is Montessori Education. Dr Maria Montessori established it in 1907.
It is a child-centric education method that includes child-oriented activities, classrooms with children of different age groups and educators who inspire freedom among their learners.
The Montessori education system is founded on the belief that children learn best in their way and at their own pace.
To allow them to do this, Montessori schools of nursery schools enable children to discover a set of educational games and toys as they choose in an unstructured manner.
Each class contains children with a three-year age group to learn from one another and older children.
Montessori education may be the most suitable primary education for your kids. However, defining what method of educational philosophy you want to adopt can be challenging, and it is very significant to consider all features.
Look at these Montessori education's pros and cons that can help you to start:
It Provides Hands-On Learning
Montessori classrooms are to some extent well-known for their beauty. In this classroom design, lots of sunlight and enough space are essential in the classroom design.
All this provides children with a beautiful and friendly atmosphere as kids can direct their learning with the help of precisely the intended learning benefits.
This environment helps children understand complicated vocabulary and detect intellectual thoughts through the use of objects designed for the purpose.
One great thing about this education is that it permits learners to work, grow and learn at their own pace.
This education system helps children explore activities, lessons, and things that build upon their expertise and develop them as individuals.
All these things allow learners to improve their coordination and concentration along with more traditional academic learning.
Enhanced Social Interaction
Kids are captivated by what other kids achieve. Montessori education provides it by grouping children of different age groups together in the same environment.
Most of the Montessori classrooms are mixed-age and aimed to develop peer to peer groups.
The mixed-aged groups authorise children to learn from each other, communicate with one another and improve life skills like acceptance and inclusion.
This is one of the most significant benefits of Montessori education. From an early stage, children learn to interact with other children of different ages.
Allowing children of different ages to participate in various activities together promotes peer-to-peer learning.
They teach each other, learn from each other and understand the importance of acceptance and inclusion.
Montessori education provides a unique learning environment for children in whom they can learn with fun and interest. The multi-age learning environment is unique and a key factor to this educational method.
Younger children have an excellent opportunity to develop their social, communication, leadership and emotional skills by working with older children. Older children also benefited from this approach.
The Environment Is Good for Practical Learning
Montessori learning environments are always more beautiful than in regular classrooms. This is because they are built with a lot of space and room for natural light.
A beautiful environment with the right learning aids can help the children direct attention to their needs.
The materials the children are allowed to use help them discover abstract ideas and understand complex vocabulary. In addition, the materials help these students develop coordination and concentration.
It Develops Soft Skills
Montessori philosophy inspires learners to enhance their soft skills and life skills such as responsibility, independence, fairness, adaptability, and positivity.
Montessori educators believe that allowing children to describe how they spend time in their Classroom helps them be self-independent in future life.
Various researchers show that Montessori nursery students have superior soft skills compared to other children of their age group displaying better behaviour and a greater inclination to cooperate and collaborate with their peers.
It Provides Independence
The Montessori education system offers a sense of confidence and creativity that develops the knowledge and skills of students like self-confidence, a sense of freedom and confidence in their abilities.
Students of Montessori education tend to be more competent to manage them and think freely.
It Cultivates Their Love for Learning
Most students in regular schools fail because they don't love to learn. They see the curriculum as boring, and this makes it difficult for them to appreciate it.
The case is different with Montessorians. These students love to learn and are always curious about the world and the people around them.
Long-term, they view learning as a lifelong process. It doesn't stop when school is over.
This is not to say that every experience of Montessori education will be virtuous.
On one side, educators, classmates, and administration can influence your experience for better or for worse.
On the other side, some factors of the Montessori beliefs can cause concerns for some. These are some disadvantages of Montessori education:
For Montessori schools, it is tough to keep their prices low.
The acquisition of many long-lasting and first-class learning materials and lengthy and thorough training in using such items for young children is an expensive undertaking.
That is why the programs of Montessori education are so expensive.
Finding a regular Montessori school with an average to low tuition price is difficult. This is because they put many things into account like the high-quality learning materials and the in-depth training children receive using those materials.
Only children of wealthy parents can afford to go to a fully functional Montessori school.
While some organisations are trying to reduce the expense for children, the cost of getting certified as a Montessori teacher is still high.
Independence Is Not Always Helpful
Montessori education is solid in developing a sense of freedom and self-guided work. But the situations are not always like that.
The mindset it provides can be valuable in some ways, but on the other hand, it can also make it tough to cooperate in groups and work under severe authority.
There Isn't Enough Opportunity.
The interaction in Montessori classrooms is different from the traditional classrooms.
However, the interaction it provides is far more meaningful. The learning environment used in the Classroom allows kids to interact more freely in comparison to traditional classrooms.
But in contrast, interaction is far less structured and spontaneous.
Small Student Community
In a Montessori classroom environment, students are in a small community and spend time with the same peers.
This can translate to kids developing amazing friendships, or it can be an obstacle to developing social skills.
Students have a limited reach to the social activities in the Montessori education system. Montessori is a lifestyle, and it is not only a method of education.
Before deciding to go for Montessori, make sure you will ultimately embrace the lifestyle and are willing to make changes to the environment and your
Independence Can Be a Bad Thing
While the students have the independence to learn how they like, the fact is that this independence is not always a good thing long-term.
When a student grows up with a self-guided, independent and entrepreneurial mindset, it may become difficult for that student to work with others in the future.
This is because most jobs, if not all, require teamwork. Also, it may be difficult for the individual to submit to management or work in a bureaucratic system.
Montessori students think on their terms as collaboration with other students is not an essential practice in Montessori schools.
The Curriculum Is Loose, and the Classroom Structure Can Be Intimidating
The Montessori curriculum isn't as structured as the one in regular schools. Instead, it has to do with following the child on their learning journey.
This doesn't mean the children will be allowed to do anything they want, but it is not like a rigid classroom curriculum.
Since the teacher is only present to assist the students rather than enforce specific rules or instructions, students might not pick interest in some important subjects. In addition, curriculum looseness can leave students over-prepared for some classes and not prepared enough for others.
Having a free classroom structure isn't always a good thing. This is because some children prefer structured, routine activities.
Something as simple as desks lined up in rows can be comforting to some students. But, unfortunately, these formal school desks aren't present in Montessori schools.
The classrooms are built to allow sudden movement and change. The teachers don't instruct; they guide the students.
This isn't always a good thing because it gives the students too much freedom. However, not every child would thrive without the order and stability found in traditional schools.
Criticisms of the Montessori Method
Parents looking to spend above the taxes they pay into the public school system annually; tend to want to have their concerns and criticisms answered before investing that money.
Not only that, but proponents of one form of education method may disagree with how another operates. Therefore criticisms can arise.
Five of Montessori's Biggest Criticisms
The Montessori method has been the subject of criticism throughout the years and has been willing to openly address what people see as problems or disadvantages of Montessori education.
And through explanation, Montessori educators and experts can respond to the criticism with why the method is shaped the way it is - and why they believe it is the best way to shape young minds.
Criticism #1: There Isn't Enough Opportunity Through Group Activity for Social Development and Interaction.
Sure, the interaction in Montessori classrooms differs from that of a regular day public school or a non-Montessori based school; however, the interaction students have is far more meaningful.
The prepared classroom environment allows students to interact more freely, rather than at set times of the day like it would be in a traditionally styled classroom.
Like Waldorf, interaction is more spontaneous and far less structured – while still being structured by how teachers set up their classrooms.
Montessori students are viewed as individuals, and the method respects that by removing the rigidness and structure found in traditional classrooms.
Criticism #2: Creativity Is Quelled and the Childhood Taken from Students Due to Early Use of Cognitive Thinking – and Too Much Time Spent on Practical Life.
A child's true potential can be activated in the early years of their lives (up to age six is the most formative years for children), and learning is a natural thing for a child.
Even in idle play, children learn about social interaction, sharing, counting, and the basics that will make up the foundation they will take into the Classroom.
Montessori doesn't take childhoods away but enriches them through early education that helps ignite a child's development.
In these early years, children learn with great ease, and by giving them a Montessori classroom in which to interact and learn, they will develop at a more rapid rate.
This is productive for both advanced learners and those who sometimes struggle.
Children love to imitate the world they see moving around them, and Montessori takes advantage of the chance to help them function in their environment.
Activities focused on sensory development at an early age will help build a foundation for intellectual growth later in their lives: hand-eye control, small and large muscle control, and the refinement of skills needed for reading and writing.
Criticism #3: There Is Far Too Much Freedom in the Classroom for the Child to Choose – and the Classroom Is Far Too Structured.
In some ways, these two points contradict themselves: how can there be too much freedom and too much structure at the same time. However, how a student interacts with the environment will help answer both these criticisms.
"A place for everything and everything in its place" is part of Montessori's classroom philosophy.
The method is not structured, as students are free to learn as they want and about what they are curious about at any given moment.
However, to best achieve this freedom, teachers will structure classrooms in a certain way to maximise student potential.
The child can freely function within the structured class, and each child gains security in knowing things will be in the same place each time. In many ways, freedom and class structure work in a collaborative manner.
Criticism #4: Montessori School Is Only for the Upper-Class Family.
This is entirely untrue. Montessori schools, like private schools, don't choose students based on how much money, fame or prestige a family has: they want the best students that will help create the best education and social environments for their students.
Many schools have worked to improve accessibility for students from the full range of socioeconomic statuses.
If you want your child to be enrolled at a Montessori school or elsewhere, there are several steps you can take to help make sure you can afford the cost of tuition and make a dream become a reality.
Criticism #5: There Is No Research That Proves Montessori Education Has an Advantage for Children Over Public School.
This is true: no research definitively proves that Montessori education is better than any other education, public or private.
This can be hard to determine for several reasons: primarily because several variables cannot be controlled in scientific study.
However, Montessori school students are more than likely to come out better prepared for life: more organised approaches to life and learning; development of independence; self-discipline and a keen interest in education.
All educational approaches face criticism and vigorous research for and against that specific type of education.
And the Montessori approach, similarly, has pros and cons. Moreover, it might not be the right fit for your child. Again, it's about finding a school and a method that works for what you and your child need.
Even when choosing a Montessori school, it's essential to find the school as they vary in many ways.
So be sure to be diligent in your research to find the best school to help your child achieve success.
Is a Montessori School Right for My Child?
Montessori programs are perfect for self-directed children, can work independently for extended time, and work well alone or in small groups.
Also, these programs tend to be ideal for children easily overwhelmed by noise, chaos, and disorder.
The focus on individual learning allows students to work at their own pace and provide a healthy environment for special needs children.
However, a Montessori program could be challenging and frustrating for children who want to do things their way, who don't easily follow instructions, who like to switch activities frequently, or who prefer more free-form or imagination-based play.
Final Word of Advice
Visit any school you are considering. Although Montessori schools adhere to a basic philosophy, each will be different.
Ask to visit during school hours so you can observe how students spend their time. For example, do children look happy and engaged or bored?
Do teachers respond to children's needs? Of course, the most important questions to answer are: Would your child enjoy this environment, could your child thrive in this setting, and is this the right learning environment for your child?
- It can minimize the importance of friendships. ...
- It can be difficult to adapt to other types of school. ...
- Not every community has a Montessori school. ...
- It requires a student to learn self-motivation to be successful. ...
- Any school can claim to be a Montessori school.
Montessori is not a bad program, as it focuses on promoting independence and fostering growth at an individual pace. There have been thousands of children who enjoyed using this method. However, some drawbacks include the price, lack of availability, and overly loose curriculum.
Overall, the answer to both questions was “yes”. Children in the high-fidelity Montessori school, as compared with children in the other two types of school, showed significantly greater gains on measures of executive function, reading, math, vocabulary, and social problem-solving.