Why Montessori works
Researchers at the Universities of Virginia and Wisconsin has recently confirmed what Dr. Montessori observed long ago:
Movement optimizes learning. Active bodies create active minds. Montessori learning materials offer challenging work requiring both the body and the mind.
Interest is key. Children learn best when they are interested. Children in Montessori classrooms choose to work in the areas that interest them.
Motivation comes from intrinsic satisfaction.Montessori teachers avoid extrinsic rewards and competition since motivation is reduced when the rewards are removed. The Montessori method nurtures a child’s love of learning and desire to contribute and help others without rewards and punishments.
Choice and control help children progress. Montessori students choose their activities and manage their time. Students who have control over their educational experience make better decisions, exercise good judgment, and are more deeply engaged in their work.
Order, beauty and routine are important. Montessori environments are aesthetically beautiful, tidy and organized. An attractive and dependable environment allows children to easily select and complete work and participate in maintaining the classroom.
Collaboration inspires learning. Children in a multi-age environment learn from each other. Young children benefit from the example and guidance of older children. Up to age 6, children often prefer to work individually or in pairs. Montessori classrooms for young children are designed to accommodate this characteristic. After age 6, children are more likely to work in groups, collaborating on projects. Montessori classrooms for older children allow them to learn this way. Students solve problems by interacting with each other and listening to multiple perspectives. Montessori students have a strong sense of self, and are cooperative and supportive of each other.
Each stage of Montessori education builds on the preceding one to form a lasting foundation. An authentic and complete Montessori education is truly a gift for life!
*Reprinted from The Jewish Montessori Society, jewishmontessorinetwork.org.