Does a Montessori preschool make it more difficult for children to adapt to the rules of the traditional education system? Won’t it make it the child intelligent and skilled, but not socially adept? One that will be considered spoiled and insubordinate? Basically, won’t it involuntarily harm the child? These questions and doubts haunt most of the parents considering enrolling their child into a Montessori preschool.
Montessori education vs the education system – core differences
- Children first – develop according to their own plan, follow the curriculum at their own pace;
- Teachers as observers (but not infallible authorities);
- Individual approach – the Montessori method helps developing individualism and highlights children’s inherent intelligence;
- The Montessori material in the form of didactic aids, reflecting the traditional curriculum;
- Space organising – a tailored environment for self-work and independence;
- No 35 minute long lessons and breaks;
- No traditional lessons – individual or small group work on the “subject” chosen by the children;
- Classes and groups divided not according to age;
- Learning by experience, touch, practical activities (minimum theory);
- No grades, punishments, or rewards.
Research on Montessori alumni
A survey of Montessori preschool and school graduates in the United States confirms that there is nothing to fear. After the transfer from Montessori to a traditional school, the children had No major adaptation problems: no learning difficulties were found, and the problems of adaptation and new social situations were brief.
The researchers found that efficient solutions to these problems resulted from Highly developed social skills of “Montessori children”, which are very useful at the stage of entering an unknown environment and making new friendships.
First 6 years of life are crucial for development
Kindergarteners absorb everything like a sponge – they perceive the environment intuitively, comprehensively and acknowledge everything around them. Only during this period can a person learn so easily, painlessly and fruitfully. According to Maria Montessori, the age of 0 to 6 years is the first of the so-called sensitive phases, which is of fundamental importance for the development of the personality and intelligence.
Professional successes and brilliant careers, are usually associated with graduating from a university or an elite high school. Meanwhile, according to Maria Montessori, the source of these successes should be sought at the stage of preschool and early childhood education – this is when the foundations of future career are laid.