Childhood education has been studied for decades to determine what the best course of action should be for teachers to take. Kids learn differently than adults, so the methods used to teach kids must be different. A Montessori education is child-centered, offers activities that are led by children, and can start as early as preschool. Here are the pros and cons of the system that Dr. Montessori developed through his research.
The Pros of a Montessori Education
1. It allows children to decide what they want to learn.
Kids learn better when they have a choice in what they get to learn. That’s why a Montessori classroom will have different kinds of activity stations placed within it. Kids choose what they want to do and that’s how they learn.
2. Teachers guide kids through activities.
Up to 90% of the information we are exposed to during the day can be retained for immediate recall if learned through an activity. Lecture-based information recall can be as low as 5%. When teachers guide students through an activity instead of “teach at them,” the results are much better.
3. Grading is individualized.
Instead of a traditional grading system, students with a Montessori education are graded based on their individualized progress. This makes it more difficult to track results, but it does give meaningful feedback to each student.
The Cons of a Montessori Education
1. Children can sometimes struggle to transition to this learning culture.
Certain students adapt better to a Montessori education than others. This can create conflict between the two groups that eventually may lead to bullying or other harmful behaviors.
2. There isn’t any trademark protection.
Anyone can say that they’re providing a Montessori education. It is up to the parents to perform their due diligence on the classroom environment to make sure the teaching style is actually structured around this system.
3. It is heavily reliant on the abilities of the teacher.
The moment a teacher refuses to let a student perform a learning activity they want to do is the moment that the Montessori system fails. Teachers can struggle to adapt as much as students can sometimes.
The pros and cons of a Montessori education show that it can be highly beneficial for students who struggle in a traditional classroom structure. It may not be the right educational environment for everyone, but the hands-on opportunities and chance to choose what they want to learn helps kids retain more information. That makes this type of school much more effective in the long-term.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.