By Jessie Garfield
For parents, the education of a child is perhaps one of the most important things that must be carefully considered. The school that you choose early on can have a drastic impact on the growth and development of your child-physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically.
There are several teaching methods that are applied in schools nowadays. The most familiar among these is traditional classroom teaching by which a group of similarly-aged students are taught in the classroom by a single teacher and then evaluated through a set of tests and quizzes at regular intervals. For many, this kind of teaching method is satisfactory, but for those who are looking to enhance their child’s education and make the most of his or her young, absorbent mind, there are other alternative methods such as the Montessori technique.
What is Montessori education? The Montessori method is basically an approach to education that places great emphasis on independence and respect for the child’s natural psychological growth. This method aims to guide children into learning by getting them to do things, rather than just be told what to do, which is the case with traditional classroom learning. The Montessori method requires educators to provide children with an environment that is highly conducive to learning and simply guide them as they explore their way into learning. Dr. Maria Montessori, the Italian educator and physician who developed this method, believes that children have an innate desire to interact with their environment in an intelligent manner and that with gentle guidance, this desire to explore and learn can be cultivated.
There are many advantages to the Montessori method of education, and the first among these is that it cultivates confidence in a child. Because learning is set at the child’s own pace, they will not suffer feelings of inadequacy caused by being left behind by their peers. This confidence encourages a greater interest in learning, thus allowing the child to reach his fullest potential.
In addition to becoming more confident, the Montessori method also encourages independence in children. Children taught this way can explore their surroundings freely and learn from their own experience-and, more importantly, they can also learn from their own mistakes. Cultivating independence and understanding of one’s own mistakes leads children to develop a sense of responsibility, which is an important quality for adult issues.
Lastly, Montessori schooling builds a sense of community among children and encourages them to help their peers. Unlike traditional schools which place similarly-aged children in the same grade, Montessori schools place children within a three-year age span in one class. The older kids learn to help the younger ones thus fostering responsibility and goodwill while the younger children learn how to be more mature from their older peers.
One of the best schools that exemplified in the Montessori approach is Dr. Maria Montessori school.