Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Pros of Montessori

Children educated using the Montessori method perform higher academically and are more socially developed than their peers. Montessori students generally outperform their peers at the secondary level, and Montessori students are more motivated and better socially adapted.

The Montessori method must be doing something right. From my early childhood education research and my experience working in Montessori, I believe the positive outcomes of Montessori are derived primarily from these features:

1. Children begin learning to read at a preschool age.They do not just color in pictures of letters, but work one-on-one with a teacher to commit letter sounds to memory.

2. The material is hands-on (like letters made with sandpaper for children to trace their fingers across) and visually meaningful. For example, when learning four digit numbers, students use  single beads to represent the ones column, strands of ten beads to represent the tens column, squares of 100 beads to represent the hundreds column and cubes of 1000 beads to represent the thousands column.

3. Less class time is spent on group lessons. During a group lesson, a portion of the class may not be following the lesson. Instead, students work alone on activities where the teacher can easily see whether or not each student understands. Working alone also lets students progress at their own pace, not being held back by others or moving on when they did not really grasp the last lesson.

1 comment:

Nelda said...

Grace,
Can you tell me more about the beads? We have Base Ten blocks, but I find them unrealistic to a child who needs concrete models...
Nelda