August, 17
by RT

Main questions people ask about Montessori education

Many people don't know what the Montessori Method implies. It is an education method used on primary and preschool children. Different children prefer different learning methods. A popular one is Montessori, that was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori and it promotes child-led activities. Children of different ages take part in these activities and they are encouraged to be independent. When it comes to the Montessori Method, parents have numerous questions when deciding whether or not they should enroll their children in a school that promotes this type of education. We are going to answer some of these questions in the following post.

Main questions people ask about Montessori education

Is the Montessori Method used only to teach elite children?

People have the misconception that the Montessori Method is used to only teach the wealthy and the elite. This misconception has its origins in the 1960’s, a period when parents did not enroll their children in public schools. Because there were few good public schools, people preferred private education if they wanted their children to benefit from early education. During this period, the method developed by Maria Montessori gained great popularity. Because only wealthy people had the possibility to access private schools, the Montessori Method became associated with high tuition for elite students. However, that is not necessarily the case anymore.

Does Montessori imply that you should never tell your children what to do?

A common misconception associated with the Montessori Method is that parents should allow children to do whatever they want. Parents should know that one important part of the method is discipline. The main purpose of this type of education is to help children regulate themselves. Self-discipline cannot be learned overnight and children need guidance, thus the answer to the aforementioned question is no, there is a way to guide them. 

Do Montessori classes discourage children from using their imagination?

Some people may have heard that Montessori classes discourage children to use their imagination and creativity. If you have doubts you should know that this is an inaccurate generalization of what the developer of the method wanted to promote. Maria Montessori observed that pre-school children preferred 'real' to 'fantasy' if they had the opportunity to choose. When she was conceiving the method she observed that children like activities such as cooking, cleaning and other practical activities, rather than getting involved in fantasy play for instance. However, this does not mean that they cannot be creative.

Do children achieve special skills during these classes?

The Montessori method promotes independence through individual activities. The majority of children prefer solo activities, especially if these activities involve Montessori toys. This method also focuses on helping children develop social skills because children are taught by teachers how to be respectful, polite and courteous. Children are taught to express their feelings in a polite manner and to respect both children and adults. 

Can children adjust to traditional school after being in a Montessori school?

The majority of parents are worried that if their children enroll in the classes of a Montessori school they will not be able to adjust to a traditional school later on. In fact, children have the possibility to switch to a traditional type of school during kindergarten, college or whenever they consider suitable. Parents should not worry about their children struggling to adjust. The children will be equipped with the needed skills and tools to adapt to traditional education methods. 

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